The Basque Country selected to join the Open Government Partnership
- The Basque Country has joined the group of 20 regions from around the world involved in the Local Government Programme
- The successful application includes the Basque Government, provincial councils of Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, along with the city councils of the three provincial capitals
- The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is the international benchmark organisation whose purpose is to assess and develop mechanisms to make governments “more transparent, responsible and accountable to citizens”
This afternoon, the Open Government Partnership – OGP) announced its decision to select the Basque Country as one of the 20 regions around the world that will take part in its Local Government Programme. This international organisation that is a benchmark in governance and transparency, has positively assessed the joint application of the Basque Country, that included institutions such as the Basque Country, the Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa Provincial Councils, along with Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia-San Sebastián and Bilbao City Councils.
The Lehendakari (the Basque Premier) expressed his sincere gratitude to the Local Government Partnership (OGP) for having selected the joint proposal of the Basque institutions for its local government programme, as endorsed by the journey towards better government. This programme will help Basque institutions to implement action plans and to establish specific commitments to advance in the promotion of transparency, citizen empowerment, combating corruption and the development of new technologies to reinforce governance. The Lehendakari also extended his thanks to the three provincial councils and to the city councils of the three provincial capitals and to the grassroots organisations that supported this joint application: Innobasque – Basque Innovation Agency, Matia Fundazioa, the Basque Youth Council – EGK, and the Collaborative Law Society.
OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is the international benchmark organisation whose purpose is to assess and develop mechanisms to make governments “more transparent, responsible and accountable to the citizens”. The OGP was created in 2011 after a meeting of the UN General Assembly. Its Steering Committee currently comprises 22 members, 11 representing governments and 11 from civil society organisations.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME
The Basque Country has been selected as one of the 5 new participants in the Open Government Partnership’s Local Government Programme. The first 15 local governments were already on the programme and the decision was made to increase the number to 20 to address the caseload affecting local governments. The Basque Country has thus joined the 15 first members: Austin, Ontario, Jalisco, La Libertad (Perú), Sao Paulo, Madrid, Paris, Scotland, Tbilisi (Georgia), Buenos Aires, Sekondi- Takoradi (Ghana), Elgeyo Marakwet (Kenya), Kigoma Tanzania, Bojonegoro (Indonesia) and Seoul.
The joint value proposal of the Basque institutions (Basque Government, Araba, Bizkaia & Gipuzkoa Provincial Councils, and Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastián & Vitoria-Gasteiz City Councils) was very well-received by the OGP. The application met the criteria of high-level political involvement, a long record of reforms and involvement of civil society in open government.
THE BASQUE COUNTRY, RECOGNISED IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
The Basque Country has been recognised on different occasions in the area of governance, transparency and citizen participation. Special mention should be made of the award granted by the United Nations in 2015 in the "Promoting innovative mechanisms for citizen participation in policy making” category. The Basque Open Government initiative (developed by IREKIA) was considered as one of the trail-blazers in this field in Europe.
On the other hand, in recent years, the Basque Country has headed the transparency ranking in recent years, with a perfect score of 100 out of 100 on the Transparency Index of Autonomous Communities-INCAU.