France Plans to Join OGP; Will Become 64th Member

24 April 2014

France will be joining the Open Government Partnership, officials have announced.

Minister Marylise Lebranchu April 23 made the pledge at the Paris Conference on Open Data and Open Government.

France would be the 64th member,

The first hint of France’s plans came last week, buried in a joint communique with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto while French President François Hollande was visiting Mexico. Mexico will be the next chairman of the OGP after Indonesia, the current chair, and host the OGP summit in 2015.

France’s potential membership in disclosed and discussed in an article April 19 by Alexander Howard, who observed:

The most uncomfortable challenge, however, may be reconciling this newfound, public commitment to more “openness” with closed or secret systems of government in France, from intelligence to criminal justice, just as it has true in other participating countries, from the United States to the Philippines.

An OGP press release April 24 noted, “This milestone now means that all G7 countries, except Germany and Japan, are part of OGP.” Russia, the eighth partner in the G8 joined the OGP, but later dropped out.

The OGP praised France as “a world leader in open data,” citing its open data portal, data.gouv.fr.

The OGP will hold a European Regional Meeting in Dublin (8-9 May) where over 30 countries will attend.

An Asian regional meeting will be held in Bali (6-7 May).

According to the OGP statement, “France joining OGP will help make the case for other Francophone countries, including in Africa, to join too. Currently, the only other French-speaking countries, which participate in OGP are Canada and Tunisia.”

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