Keywords: communication, European legislation, information and communication technology, participatory processes, risks, ICT
From the right to be informed to the right to participate: responding to the evolution of European legislation with ICT
In this paper, we review the European legislation on environment, health and safety in relation to the involvement of citizens. We follow its evolution from the "right to be informed" to the "right to participate". A case study of participative research is presented, stressing the role of innovative and interactive information and communication technology (ICT). We report on the design of an information campaign for the management of risks in the area of Porto Marghera (Venice, Italy). The internet (world wide web, e-mail and other ICT) can be deployed to establish a communication space among administrators, technical experts and the community. The well-known drawing of the "Escher"s Hands' is used as a metaphor to show the concept of a reflexive engagement of all actors in a decision situation, fostering a dialogue among multiple perspectives and types of knowledge.