On Friday, the 22nd of March 2019 Netwerk Democratie partnered with organisations working on the intersection of democracy and civil society to found the CONSUL DEMOCRACY Foundation.
Consul Democracy Foundation is a new organisation whose mission is to manage and continuously develop the largest open source digital democracy platform – CONSUL. It is the most complete citizen participation tool for an open, transparent and democratic government used by over 100 institutions in 35 countries. CONSUL is open source, its development is supported by municipalities and programming teams all over the world, from Madrid through Paris, Porto Alegre, Buenos Aires to New York and Ljubljana.
So far, the development has been led by Madrid City Council since 2015. With its establishment the foundation will become responsible for managing development and other activities. This will ensure the credibility, neutrality, and quality of the platform. CONSUL is a tool that facilitates citizen engagement to create proposals and seek support for them, co-decide participatory budgets, participate through secure voting, comment on legislative texts and open threads on any other subject relevant to their life in the city.
The CONSUL project was awarded in 2018 the United Nations Public Service Award. Several chapters of the UNDP are using CONSUL as a tool for development in several countries, and in particular to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.
The Foundation was established in The Netherlands under the name Stichting Consul Democracy. The management board consists of representatives from Netwerk Democratie (The Netherlands), Fundacja Epanstwo (Poland), Open Source Initiative (USA), Mehr Demokratie (Germany), Access Info Europe (Spain), Danes je Now Dan (Slovenia), Digidemlab (Sweden).
The board was joined by a Consultative Committee formed by representatives from Democratic Society (UK/Italy/Belgium), COSS Finland (Finland), newDemocracy Foundation (Australia), Démocratie Ouverte (France) and Deliberative Democratic Consortium (USA).