Europa Forum Wachau: Successful start to the salon series

LR Eichtinger: Strengthen EU communication and expand e-voting

St. Pölten (OTS/NLK) - The first salon of the new "Europa-Forum Wachau" took place yesterday at Klosterneuburg Abbey on the topic of "Technologisation: curse or blessing for democracy?". Around 200 guests attended. At the invitation of EU Provincial Councillor Martin Eichtinger, high-calibre guests such as Fritz Jergitsch (founder of Die Tagespresse), e-governance expert Thomas Lampoltshammer (Danube University Krems) and Krzysztof Pietrzak (cryptography expert IST Austria) discussed the topic under the direction of moderator Bettina Prendergast. The central question of the salon dealt with the impact of digitalisation on political communication.

"Digitalisation now affects every area of our lives. We want to make Lower Austria a future-oriented state with common sense. If we make the right use of digitalisation, we can strengthen the location and create additional jobs. As the online survey of Salon participants showed, we can also increase voter turnout with e-voting. The security of the data was particularly important to the participants. We will take these important inputs on board and discuss them more intensively at the Europa Forum Wachau," said Provincial Councillor Eichtinger.

Political communication and its impact on everyday life for the population was also discussed. "The European Union needs to move away from crisis communication and towards better storytelling for the regions. So that citizens realise what the European Union does for them on a daily basis," said Eichtinger. Thomas Lampoltshammer from Danube University Krems said: "Digitalisation allows the population and the administration to communicate at eye level and more directly than ever before." Krzysztof Pietrzak explained: "Digitalisation holds enormous opportunities, but you have to want to make conscious use of them."

The salon serves as preparation and involvement of the population for the new format of the Europa Forum Wachau in June 2019 and is one of a total of six events in the run-up, in which decisions are made by the participants using a mobile phone online voting software. These decisions by the citizens of Europe will be incorporated into the Europa Forum Wachau 2019. The next Salon Europa Forum Wachau will take place on 21 January 2019 in Perchtoldsdorf.