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E-democracy project produces first results
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Sunday, 02 February 2003
DEMOS (Delphi Mediation Online System) is a research and development project designed to support and encourage on-line democracy. The aim of the project is to make it easy for the public to engage in political discussions at a local, national or pan-European level through the use of the Internet. On Feb. 3 DEMOS is starting its final online test involving citizens and government officials in the Italian town of Bologna.
DEMOS is a new methodology available as an online application in English, German and Italian. DEMOS presents political discussions and related information and services in an attractive and entertaining way in order to encourage as many citizens as possible to use the potential of the Internet for direct political participation.

As an online service, DEMOS also identifies and intermediate between various positions or groups (proponents/opponents, laymen/experts, voters/politicians) and will support and promote the achievement of consensus or, at least, rational dissensus (agreement to disagree) among participants.

As part of the DEMOS moderation team there is also be a high level of active support available to help users to gather any additional information that they need. For example the DEMOS system includes customisable search engines and access to responsible authorities and to experts online.

Below the friendly user interface, DEMOS is designed to help clarify peoples thinking and to help move citizens ideas forward. It aims to do this in a number of ways, for example, it uses online surveys and analysis of peoples comments to ensure the clear presentation of discussions at each stage. It also uses an online mediation approach to profile significant positions and opinions and at the same time to strive for consensus or compromises among the differing groups.
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