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A screenshot of the new transparency portal in Hamburg

Capital of transparency is online


On 1 October 2014, the German city of Hamburg officially launched a website that allows citizens to openly access the city’s public documents.

The new “transparency portal” is the result of transparency legislation that our German partner organisation Mehr Demokratie had initiated as a law proposal and that entered into force two years ago following the co-drafting by citizens in an online process.

From now onwards, experts’ opinions, contracts, decisions by the Senate and geographical data can be found at www.transparenz.hamburg.de. Also, any public service contract with a value higher than 100.000 € needs to be published on the portal.

Daniel Lentfer, a member of Democracy International and Mehr Demokratie, was hugely involved in the citizens’ initiative “Transparenz schafft Vertrauen”, which campaigned for the new legislation by collecting signatures to trigger a referendum. Yet the popular vote did not take place as the ruling party had invited the citizens’ alliance to commonly negotiate the legislation.

The online portal complements citizens’ right to know what is going on in Hamburg that counts 2 million inhabitants. Today, the city state of the federal Republic of Germany is often referred to as the "capital of transparency" due to its very advanced standards of accessing data openly.

Text by Cora Pfafferott




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