The freedom of information act (FOIA) allows citizens to ask their governments for information. In the EU, the FOIA is unknown and the number of requests filed is low. The status quo is far behind its potential. A large amount of requests would lead to more transparency which would lead to good governance. The website AskTheEU.org simplifies the process for EU citizens. But in 2018, especially young people are accustomed to mobile apps. This is why we go one step further by building an app.
People claim that the EU lacks transparency but are unaware that they have the right to information. With an app, we increase the number of requests, which leads to more transparency, which leads to more trust into democracy. That right now is decreasing in Europe and therefore needed.
It will be easier to create new freedom of information requests and also to read requests from other people. All to together, barriers to freedom of information are lowered.
First, it has to be discussed what kind of features should be implemented into the app. Not all of the functionalities of the website can be included. Second, hawse have to determine what kind of additional functionally a smartphone offers, and how we can make use of it. For example, what can we do with the exact geolocation of a user? We will undertake some user research among most frequent users and users who would potentially use the site to answers these questions.
It happened to Johannes multiple times: he had ideas for requests during a bus ride. He could go through the struggle of using the mobile version of a freedom of information portal, but always thought "oh no, I will do it later", but actually, forget about them. Then, he realized: an app is needed.
1. The citizens of the European Union, especially the digital natives, who are are generally interested in politics.
2. But also the public bodies, because they have the legal obligation to respond to the requests.
What features should be in the app? What features should be in the app that a website could not offer (e.g. making the most out of geolocation)?