LORIS--Local and regional information society LORIS--Local and regional information society
April 3—5, 2011, Prague & Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Local and Regional Information Society
Conferences ISSS/LORIS/V4DIS

LORIS 2010 LORIS 2010 LORIS 2010

Description of the LORIS project

The LORIS is well-established project running from 2004 and aimed on the utilization of ICT in the administration of the modern municipal office. Its main aims were at first to connect the representatives of twinned and/or co-operating cities from then new member states and to enable them to share their best practices and views mainly in the aspects of the administration of the municipal ICT in the both legislatively and technologically turbulent times and availability of the support (both material and non-material) from the national and European sources.

After the years, LORIS became traditional platform and every year, the meeting in Hradec Kralove, CZ, is visited by more than 300 participants. From the beginning, LORIS uses the synergy with the ISSS conference (biggest top-level ICT event in the Czech Republic) to raise the awareness of fulfill its main aim–to answer the questions on some of the contemporary municipal ICT issues and welcomes experts visiting the ISSS (EP members, ministers, ministerial secretaries etc.) to share their views and knowledge in the area of ICT with the invited representatives of twinned municipalities.

Second aim is to give twinned cities the platform, not only for exchange of the information, but also to deepen existing partnerships and to meet and get to know “partners of their partners”, thus widening the web of knowledge and good relations across the CEEC region.

Beside the meetings in Hradec Kralove on April every year, other smaller meeting will take place in some of the partner cities, aimed more on specific issues of their twinnings and partnership and cross-border co-operation.

Main objectives of the LORIS project

Giving citizen the opportunity to interact and participate in constructing a tighter-knit Europe, which is democratic and world-oriented, united and enriched by its cultural diversity, thus developing citizenship of the European Union.
As the contemporary European society is based upon tight cross-border and international ties, it is also the main goal of the project to deepen existing friendships and partnerships, to help to establish new relationships and even help with the closing of new twinning deals.
Developing thematic and long-lasting cooperation between towns and encouraging local authorities to create co-operation networks related to their involvement in development actions.
As discussed above, tight and united Europe can not exist without the working relationships of the regions, municipalities and citizens. Thus to enable the twinning cities and their partners to meet and discuss is one of the best ways of getting them to cooperate closer and find a new ties and partners.
Contributing to informal learning for active European citizenship
Institutional development is one of the hot discussion topics during the cities’ meetings as current trend of decentralization of administrative responsibilities and direct dialogue of large municipalities with European bodies brings both new opportunities and new responsibilities to the municipal officers. Regular meeting can help to enlighten some of the questions as well as bring the mentioned best practices of one town to others. Dutiful officers should be prepared to learn and gain new information to do a better job and to make the life of the citizens of their towns easier and more enjoyable.
Fostering cross-fertilisation (synergies and wider multiplier effect) involving different types of organisations.
Modern municipality can not (and should not) try to embrace all the aspects of modern public life. Some of the roles should be left to other organizations, be it NGOs or private companies related with the offices through the public law contracts of any kind. This helps to lower the maintenance costs of the municipality, provide employment to people in private sector and also significantly involve the citizens in the public life.
During the LORIS project’s events, sections aimed mainly on the role of NGOs will be held. For example we have traditional partnership with BlindFriendly (CZ) organization and its partners from other countries and their presentations bring a lot of useful information to the municipal officers. They can try to “walk in the shoes” of disabled citizens, better understanding their needs and thus learn how to make their life easier. In the field of municipal ICT it means upgraded websites, hotlines, special forms and similar but also more suitable and open approach to people with special needs.
Making the program equally accessible to all
Topics of the LORIS events are aimed mainly on the issues of municipal offices and officers as an occupational group and thanks to the diversity of this group, there is no danger of any disqualification based upon age or gender, as the target group is diverse enough in this way.

The LORIS project publicity

Wide coverage in the newspapers and national media is ensured mainly in the Czech Republic and Slovakia thanks to the synergy with the national ISSS conference and two main LORIS events. All the information will be also available on the Web pages of participating twinning cities. The results will be also disseminated through the European municipal networks the partner cities are members of, e.g. Global Cities Dialogue, ELANET, etc. The Guidebook will be created and made available for all the participants and other relevant institutions. Through the Web pages it will be available for the free download as well, making it accessible to general public.

The results of some of the two main activities will also be presented to more than 2000 participants of ISSS Conference (organized parallel with LORIS Conference). In this way the results of the town twinning collaboration will be disseminated among other municipalities.