TAB report on »E-Petitions« in Europe published in English

The E-petition platform of the German Bundestag is well received by citizens.
cover Electronic petioning and modernization of petitioning systems in europe summary
Electronic Petitioning and Modernisation of Petitioning Systems in Europe. Summary.

The TAB project »Electronic petitions and modernisation of petitioning systems in Europe« – carried out on behalf of the Petitions Committee – provides an overview of the petition systems at the national parliaments of the EU member states taking into account also the state of e-petitioning. With regard to the design and use of the e-petition platform of the German Bundestag the findings are overall positive. Suggestions for further improvement are presented for discussion.

After a first report on the subject of electronic petitions – particularly dealing with the pilot project »Public Petitions« of the German Bundestag – has been submitted by TAB in 2008 (TAB-Arbeitsbericht Nr. 127 and Summary in English), the present TAB report no. 146 focuses on the further development of the e-petition platform of the German Bundestag and on other parliamentary petition systems in Europe.

With respect to the e-petition platform of the German Bundestag it was of special relevance to investigate how its functionality, use and image developed after the last fundamental revision in 2008. For this assessment, i.a. comprehensive surveys of petitioners were carried out.

Moreover, it was of great interest to find out how the petitioning procedures and the e-petition platform established by the German Petitions Committee compared to similar activities in Europe. Due to a comprehensive survey regarding the parliamentary petition bodies and ombudsman-institutions in the 27 member states of the EU as well as those in Norway and Switzerland, a complete overview is available now. Among others it provides some hints to innovative elements of modern petition systems.

The report contains numerous precise suggestions for improvement regarding the present petitions procedure and discusses three advanced medium-term development options including their pros and cons for the petitioning system of the German Bundestag:

  • treating all petitions submitted equally as public petitions, and making them available on the e-petition platform,
  • introduction of a national parliamentary ombudsman for personal complaints,
  • and further development of the petitioning system towards an instrument of direct democracy.


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