Antonis Schwarz Geschwister

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Antonis Schwarz Geschwister
Antonis Schwarz Geschwister

Antonis Schwarz Geschwister – Photograph of Antonis Schwarz 2 Vouliwatch is an online forum where Greek individuals may discuss legislative issues with their representatives in both the Greek and European Parliaments (MPs and MEPs), as well as rate and critique them. Ireland, Luxembourg, Tunisia, Germany, France, and Austria all have similar, highly effective programmes (called “Parliamentwatch”).

Vouliwatch’s co-founder and community administrator for ParliamentWatch Network, a worldwide consortium of parliamentary watchdog groups, is Antonis Schwarz. He holds a BA in Politics from Kings College London and an MBA from Harvard Business School (MA IE University Madrid). He has previously worked for Ashoka, a worldwide network for social entrepreneurs, Bonventure, the first German venture philanthropy fund, and Yunus Social Business, a worldwide network for accelerating social enterprises. In addition to his work to increase public involvement and transparency, he hopes to expand social and impact investment in Greece to combat the economic crisis there.

According to an interview with Greek News Agenda*, Antonis Schwarz discussed the Vouliwatch platform, social entrepreneurship, the Greek civil society, the need for transparency and strengthening the voice of the citizens, and the need for a new narrative “based on innovation, solidarity, openness, kindness, and a love for Greece.” Why exactly did you decide to make Vouliwatch? Who exactly are its users, and what aspects of the service do they value the most?

While studying for my master’s degree in Madrid, I became concerned about the worsening Greek economic and political situation, and the concept for Vouliwatch was formed. As the situation in Greece looked to reach crucial tipping points of social unrest, the conviction that it is my civic responsibility to make an extraordinary effort and do my modest bit in trying to get rid of this catastrophe arose inside me. My plan all along was to build a site that would be politically neutral and give regular people more of a say in government. Like the rest of Europe, Greeks have little influence in politics outside of elections and must rely on political parties for all legislation. In conclusion, I think the anger that people all throughout Europe feel toward traditional politics demonstrates the necessity for greater direct democracy in a 21st-century democracy.

At least half of Vouliwatch’s users are under the age of 35, although one in three visitors is over the age of 35. Our parliamentary reporter updates the news section (“observatory” or “o” in Greek) every day, and this is where the vast majority of our readers’ attention is focused. Not only do people enjoy posing questions to their representatives in the House, Senate, and European Parliament, but they also enjoy checking out the latest legislative votes.

You are monitoring the lawmakers; are you also being monitored by them? Is there evidence of citizen suggestions submitted through Vouliwatch being adopted by the government? At first, there was a lot of scepticism from MPs, but that has subsided as they saw the value in using Vouliwatch to demonstrate that they care about constituents’ issues and maybe win over new votes. Our work has been recognised by Members of Parliament, who have been sending us emails of congratulations. This gives me hope for the future. Only by working with our representatives in parliament can we hope to make parliament more open and assist MPs heal their damaged public image.

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There have been instances where an MP has taken a query from a voter on Vouliwatch and utilised it as the basis for a formal inquiry to the relevant government agency. Specifically, the NGO Emfasis Foundation posed a question about the plight of the homeless. Since a permanent address is required to renew an ID card, it is extremely difficult for homeless persons to use the public health system if their ID card has expired.Have your impressions about Greek civil society and the country’s tradition of openness changed at all after two years of your presence on the internet?

There has been a significant uptick in Greek civil society as a result of the current economic and political crisis, but this uptick has not been capitalised on for a number of reasons. One of the most important is the fact that scandals are a regular part of Greek life; you can read about them in the news almost every day. Therefore, civil society’s ability to apply pressure is sometimes constrained, or at best short-lived. While you may not know where to start applying pressure, our state is so inept and disorganised that you may not know where to begin applying pressure. Also, you’ll have to take on special-interest lobbyists. You just have to accept these annoyances as a normal part of life and do what you can to overcome them.

Antonis Schwarz Geschwister

It’s much more of a mess than I thought it would be in terms of openness, and I’ve seen a lot of window dressing. Many excellent bills pertaining to openness and honesty in government are passed but rarely put into effect. For what it’s worth, I’d like to add that among the many reforms our country needs, the government should seriously consider making it illegal for political parties to have student chapters on college campuses. It is unheard of in the developed world for young political parties to wield such sway in the academic community. That being said, it’s likely that my hope is too lofty to be realised in my lifetime. politics and the monks Can you give any advice on how a young person may get started in the field of social entrepreneurship? How difficult would it be for her/him to adjust to life in Greece? How should the existing institutional structure change to better foster citizen ideas and guarantee the long-term viability of social projects?

According to Aristotle, one’s calling may be found “where your gifts and the needs of the world cross.” – Consequently, I believe that the first step is to figure out what you care deeply about, where your skills lie, and how much of an impact you can reasonably expect to have. Then you may seek feedback on your proposal by participating in the Greek social entrepreneurship ecosystem, such as by contacting the Impact HUB or Ashoka Greece. Since Greek foundations tend to provide money to already-established organisations, crowdfunding platforms haven’t taken off there, and the population of Greece has one of the lowest rates of charitable giving in the world, getting money to support your social initiative might be difficult (in contrast to in-kind donations where Greece does comparatively well).

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Due to corruption incidents in which government funding were given to NGOs belonging to cronies, there is a tremendous deal of hostility against NGOs and the nonprofit sector. As a result, the reputation of the whole nonprofit sector took a major hit. In order to restore public faith in the NGO sector, Greece’s existing uncontrolled nonprofit sector must be governed more effectively. The rulemaking process might take inspiration from existing EU or OECD regulations, and it must incorporate greater transparency and accountability. I’ve heard of cases when clubs posed as non-profits for a long time. It’s unacceptable that you did that. In addition, I believe that the Greek government might benefit from exploring the idea of social impact bonds in order to hasten social innovation and increase investment in social companies. Non-profit organisations receiving tax breaks is another possibility.Is Greek civil society, more than six years into the crisis, ready to advocate for a new narrative for the country, or is it still primarily focused on attempting to mitigate the crisis’s effects?

Although I believe the latter to be true, I also believe that the new narrative based on innovation, solidarity, openness, compassion, and a love of Greece is being created as we work to mitigate its impacts. Most Greeks who read this would probably agree that if we fixed our problems, Greece would be the best country in the world. We Greeks enjoy wonderful weather, a rich and ancient history, and a strong emphasis on friendship and family. So, what else do you require? We need to band together to ensure that our voices are heard in Greek politics if civil society is to continue to flourish there. We’ll go nowhere unless we work together.

Just what does Vouliwatch want to accomplish in the not-too-distant future? Do you have any plans in the works for new community service initiatives? With the aid of an EU funding, we launched Vouliwatch in Cyprus last October. We’re also collecting information on the legislature so that legislative sessions may be compared in terms of their level of productivity. My own thoughts are, at least for the time being, strictly classified.

Regierung verabschiedet, aber selten in Kraft gesetzt. Für das, was es wert ist, möchte ich hinzufügen, dass die Regierung neben den vielen Reformen, die unser Land braucht, ernsthaft erwägen sollte, es für politische Parteien illegal zu machen, Studentengruppen auf dem College-Campus zu haben. Es ist in der entwickelten Welt unerhört, dass junge politische Parteien einen solchen Einfluss in der akademischen Gemeinschaft ausüben. Abgesehen davon ist es wahrscheinlich, dass meine Hoffnung zu hoch ist, um sie zu meinen Lebzeiten zu verwirklichen. Politik und Mönche Können Sie einen Rat geben, wie ein junger Mensch im Bereich Social Entrepreneurship anfangen kann? Wie schwierig wäre es für sie/ihn, sich an das Leben in Griechenland anzupassen? Wie sollte sich die bestehende institutionelle Struktur ändern, um Bürgerideen besser zu fördern und die langfristige Tragfähigkeit sozialer Projekte zu gewährleisten?

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Laut Aristoteles findet man seine Berufung „wo sich deine Gaben und die Bedürfnisse der Welt kreuzen“. – Folglich glaube ich, dass der erste Schritt darin besteht, herauszufinden, was Ihnen am Herzen liegt, wo Ihre Fähigkeiten liegen und wie viel Einfluss Sie vernünftigerweise erwarten können. Dann können Sie Feedback zu Ihrem Vorschlag einholen, indem Sie am griechischen Ökosystem für soziales Unternehmertum teilnehmen, z. B. indem Sie sich an Impact HUB oder Ashoka Griechenland wenden. Da griechische Stiftungen dazu neigen, bereits etablierten Organisationen Geld zur Verfügung zu stellen, Crowdfunding-Plattformen dort noch nicht erfolgreich sind und die Bevölkerung Griechenlands eine der niedrigsten Raten an wohltätigen Spenden der Welt hat, könnte es schwierig sein, Geld zur Unterstützung Ihrer sozialen Initiative zu bekommen (im Gegensatz zu Sachspenden, bei denen Griechenland vergleichsweise gut abschneidet).

Aufgrund von Korruptionsvorfällen, bei denen Regierungsgelder an NGOs von Kumpanen vergeben wurden, gibt es eine enorme Feindseligkeit gegen NGOs und den gemeinnützigen Sektor. Dadurch wurde der Ruf des gesamten Nonprofit-Sektors stark in Mitleidenschaft gezogen. Um das Vertrauen der Öffentlichkeit in den NGO-Sektor wiederherzustellen, muss Griechenlands bestehender unkontrollierter gemeinnütziger Sektor effektiver regiert werden. Der Regelsetzungsprozess könnte sich von bestehenden EU- oder OECD-Vorschriften inspirieren lassen und muss mehr Transparenz und Rechenschaftspflicht beinhalten.

Ich habe von Fällen gehört, in denen sich Clubs lange Zeit als gemeinnützig ausgegeben haben. Es ist inakzeptabel, dass Sie das getan haben. Darüber hinaus glaube ich, dass die griechische Regierung davon profitieren könnte, die Idee von Social Impact Bonds zu untersuchen, um soziale Innovationen zu beschleunigen und Investitionen in soziale Unternehmen zu erhöhen. Gemeinnützige Organisationen, die Steuervergünstigungen erhalten, sind eine weitere Möglichkeit.Ist die griechische Zivilgesellschaft nach mehr als sechs Jahren Krise bereit, sich für ein neues Narrativ für das Land einzusetzen, oder konzentriert sie sich immer noch hauptsächlich darauf, die Auswirkungen der Krise abzumildern?

Obwohl ich letzteres für wahr halte, glaube ich auch, dass das neue Narrativ auf der Grundlage von Innovation, Solidarität, Offenheit, Mitgefühl und einer Liebe zu Griechenland geschaffen wird, während wir daran arbeiten, seine Auswirkungen zu mildern. Die meisten Griechen, die dies lesen, würden wahrscheinlich zustimmen, dass Griechenland das beste Land der Welt wäre, wenn wir unsere Probleme lösen würden. Wir Griechen genießen wunderbares Wetter, eine reiche und alte Geschichte und legen großen Wert auf Freundschaft und Familie. Also, was brauchst du noch? Wir müssen uns zusammenschließen, um sicherzustellen, dass unsere Stimmen in der griechischen Politik gehört werden, wenn die Zivilgesellschaft dort weiter gedeihen soll. Wir werden nirgendwo hingehen, wenn wir nicht zusammenarbeiten.

Was will Vouliwatch in nicht allzu ferner Zukunft erreichen? Haben Sie irgendwelche Pläne für neue Community-Service-Initiativen in Arbeit? Mit Hilfe einer EU-Förderung haben wir Vouliwatch im vergangenen Oktober auf Zypern gestartet. Wir sammeln auch Informationen über die Legislative, um Legislaturperioden hinsichtlich ihres Produktivitätsniveaus vergleichen zu können. Meine eigenen Gedanken sind, zumindest vorerst, streng geheim.

Antonis Schwarz Geschwister
Antonis Schwarz Geschwister

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