About openPetition

Start a petition and find supporters

openPetition supports petitioners in preparing their petition, collecting signatures and submitting the petition to the appropriate recipient. In addition, openPetition demands the opinion of parliamentarians independently of the formal petition process. Whether it concerns the preservation of the youth club, the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, changes in legislation or the construction of wind turbines: Every day users start petitions on our platform and push forward changes: locally, regionally, nationwide and bit by bit also in Europe. More than 6 million people use openPetition and become part of digital democracy.

Read our latest annual report(PDF).

The openPetition team

Jörg Mitzlaff
Jörg Mitzlaff - studied computer science in Berlin and worked as a software developer and IT manager at Infoseek, eBay and idealo. He got involved with Mehr Demokratie eV before he founded the platform openPetition in 2010. Since 2012 he is shareholder and managing director of openPetition gemeinnützigen GmbH.
Jessica Seip
Jessica Seip - is our Head of Campaigning. The cultural scientist was active in the radio landscape for several years prior to openPetition and also looks after NGO users in addition to our users.
Rita Schuhmacher
Rita Schuhmacher - is a media researcher and political editor. She is project manager for the openDemocracy tool and acts as an interface between politics, users and the press at openPetition.
Jasmin Daum
Jasmin Daum - is an editor at openPetition and is constantly developing ideas for the expansion of the platform with her team. She also looks after the platform and supports the start of petitions to contribute to social and political processes.
Conner Defosse
Conner Defosse - has been a federal volunteer service provider since September 2019 and thus the newest member of the openPetition team. He is particularly interested in the spread of political participation through all social strata and generations, the question of how citizens can be more heard and how participative processes can be made simpler and more appealing.
Jonas Hantelmann
Jonas Hantelmann - is a software developer at openPetition. Prior to that, he trained as an application development IT specialist and taught ICT at a school in Ghana.
Mirko Brunner
Mirko Brunner - worked for over 14 years as a software developer in various agencies and implemented software solutions and smartphone apps. Now he helps to program democracy, with privacy and security matters to him.
Steven von Roden
Steven von Roden - After studying Business Information Systems in Dresden, the software developer moved to Berlin. Here he prefers to work with open source software and is impressed by the (musical) diversity of the city.
Thanh Dung Nguyen
Thanh Dung Nguyen - is a web developer at openPetition. After her Cognitive Science studies in Osnabrück she worked as an IT Consultant and traveled abroad. In addition to privacy and democracy, social justice is a big topic for her.
Daniel Axford
Daniel Axford - The native Englishman came to open Petition because of his interest in social movements. As a trainee, he is currently expanding his programming skills.
Taubenschwarm
Ralf Engelmann - is an honorary system administrator for openPetition. He is particularly committed to privacy and data economy. Full-time, he works at an Internet Preisvergleichsportal.

Many thanks to our former Colleagues from openPetition.

The openPetition mission and how we want to achieve our goals

Make politics simpler - We advise and support petitioners so that each openPetition achieves maximum effect, i.e. reaches the relevant parliament and is processed there.

making policies more visible - We make sure that politicians know what moves citizens in their constituencies. For this purpose we have developed the Wahlkreisradar.

making policies more comprehensible - If a petition reaches the openPetition-quorum, we ask the respective parliament, i.e. all elected representatives of the region, for a statement.

Strengthen the right to petition - We are politically committed to a more effective petitions system. To this end, we talk to politicians and administration in the petitions committees in Germany at federal, state and European level.

Bringing petitions to parliaments across Europe - We want to open up the possibilities of the right of petition online in other European countries and help citizens to address their concerns to their political representatives through online participation.

Modernising parliamentary democracy - We want a modern online right of initiative and demand the right to be consulted and consulted on new, urgent citizens' concerns in parliaments and specialist committees.

To achieve these goals, openPetition engages in various Networks, alliances and initiatives ,

Values & principles

Neutrality and democratic values - openPetition is politically neutral: We do not intend to influence political opinion or support political parties unilaterally. All petition requests as well as recommendations for partner NGOs do not reflect our point of view, but show a colourful mixture of opinions - no matter where you come from or what you believe in. Because we want to promote constructive political debate, we pay attention to respecting our Terms of Use: Racism, misanthropy and discrimination have no place with us. We invite everyone to interfere under fair conditions. We see diversity of opinion as an enrichment for common, democratic discourses.

Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft Transparency - openPetition demands transparency and openness from politics and business. One can only demand what one lives. This is why we support Transparency Germany's "Transparency Civil Society Initiative". For this purpose, we have compiled information about goals, source of funds, use of funds, personnel structure and decision paths at openPetition in accordance with the guidelines of the initiative in the current transparency report.

Privacy - Digital democracy can only work if personal data is safe from uncontrolled government access and selfish economic interests. If algorithms influence political opinion-forming, then they must be made transparent and easy to understand for everyone. Citizens must retain control of their data and the algorithms for processing the data at all times. The right to oblivion must be taken into account as early as the collection of data. As a non-governmental organisation for citizens' concerns, we want to support the idea of a digital democracy and protect your political footprint on our platform. Please read our Privacy Policy.

We are non-profit.

openPetition was started as a voluntary project by software developper Jörg Mitzlaff in 2010. In 2012 he together with Campact e.V. founded the not- for-profit organisation openPetition gGmbH. It is recognized as a charitable organisation beause we are fostering education, democratic practice and civil society. It is listed in the register of companies of Local Court Berlin-Charlottenburg unter number HRB 144054 B. Our tax-exempt status is confirmed by finance office Finanzamt Berlin für Körperschaften I, most recent confimation dates from 12th of March 2015.

We are independent

  • openPetition is politically neutral. The topics on the platform cover the entire democratic political spectrum. openPetition does not adopt the demands and statements of the petitions - this also applies to petition recommendations.
  • In terms of acceptable content on our platform we are committed to our terms of use only. Our terms of use are based on democratic rights and values and are permanently being developed further in dialog with our users.
  • Our independence form our associates is stipulated in the Articles of Association.
  • More than 10,000 committed citizens already support the work of openPetition with a donation or a regular contribution.
  • Financial independence is important to us. Therefore, state funds or party donations are out of the question for us. So far we are financially supported by the Campact. e.V. campaign network and in return send out a partner mailing four times a year. Other NGOs and associations can also advertise their petition requests with us in individual cases and against payment. However, we are striving for 100% financing through small donations from our users.

Network with openPetition

Publications & Material

  • Petitions-Atlas 2018/19 (PDF)
  • Paper: Petitions as a tool for low-threshold public participation (PDF)
  • Annual and Transparency Report (PDF)
  • Position papers Petitionsrecht (PDF)
  • Master thesis online participation (PDF)

ongoing collections

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