Open government partnership: unutilized potential in post-communist EU members? (Case of the Czech Republic)

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Informa UK Limited
One of the factors that contribute to confining corruption opportunity space is transparent lobbying as part of a broader approach to governance, based on the principles of openness, transparency, participation and disclosure. The problem of lack of transparent lobbying is closely related not only to corruption but to increased inequality of access by voices representative of a wide range of interests to public decision-making. This issue is also one of the relevant issues of Europeanisation that comes to attention in the European public space; lobbying is an important source of information for European decision-making processes, which speaks in favour of creating transparent rules for its functioning. Despite a real reluctance of national political representation to enforce statutory regulation of lobbying there is however a number of factors (besides regulation) that contribute to the transparency of lobbying. One of them is Open Government Partnership initiative which takes a more comprehensive approach to openness via seeking ways to make the government more transparent, responsive, accountable, and effective. The paper focuses on two research questions: Under what circumstances may open government affect the transparency of lobbying and thereby reduce the corruption opportunity space? Does the Czech Republic use the potential of its membership in Open Government Partnership well? The analysis is completed by data from Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Slovakia. The performed research uses descriptive, analytic, comparative and interpretive techniques.
civil society, Czech Republic, European public space, lobbying, open government, open government data, Open government partnership, Post-communist countries, transparency