José Luis Marín, Euroalert's CEO, attended as speaker to the Conference on Open Government "Committed to the future", organized by the Club of Innovation in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, and held on 18 December. During the event, we had the opportunity to show how important is for companies the 'Open Government', and especially, the opening of data by governments to carry out projects like Euroalert. Also, we presented our experience in this field and specifically focused in the use of open data in public procurement to generate products and services that provide an added value to SMEs and other organisations.
The Conference also was a networking event which brought together companies which re-use the information, associations and foundations working on transparency and open government, universities and governments. They all shared experiences and best practices, especially, among all types of public administrations (local and regional governments, including the Spanish Congress of Deputies) to implement in practice the 'Open Government'. Guzmán Garmendia, expert and responsible of the Open Government legislation from the Government of Navarra, stressed that "citizen participation can not be confused with social networks" and advised the governments "to believe on it first to build the Open Government from the bottom to up".
Rafa Rubio, professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, reminded to the governments that they may count on experts from the universities to launch Open Government projects. At the Conference, we could see examples of regional and local governments that have created portals to improve transparency. First we had the opportunity to listen to Marta Lopez Cuesta, who explained how the new Open Government portal of the Castilla y León Region was build and which consists of, and then, several representatives of the Basque Government presented Irekia, the Basque Government portal, which it is a model to follow for many of the other Spanish public administrations.
There was also time to listen to associations and foundations, including the Fundación CIVIO and Access Info Europe, who explained the importance of the 'Open Government' to improve transparency and citizen participation, and also the importance of open data for the "data journalism" for, as Mar Cabra explained at her presentation, “to convert the opened data into fundamental news to get better informed citizens".
We want to enjoy this occasion to wish all of you happy holidays and propose you to think about the importance of the 'Open Government' for citizens and companies during the Christmas period. Euroalert's team wishes you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!