MONACO, 5 July 2012 – A report released on the opening day of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Annual Session highlights 18 new ways parliaments, governments and civil society organizations are increasing civic participation – several of them through use of social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The report, entitled sOcialSCapE, profiles case studies from 15 OSCE countries including Armenia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Ukraine, the United States, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Examples from additional OSCE countries will be published online in the coming weeks.

With more than 60 per cent of the population in the OSCE region now using the Internet, the report highlights ways countries have successfully increased civic participation through new media and provides examples for other countries to follow their lead. Examples ranges from a Facebook page that generated support for a land conservation effort in Belgrade, Serbia to a TV series focused on job creation in Drogheda, Ireland.

The report is a platform for sharing ideas and experiences in increasing political engagement through innovation.

"This project is an effort to help strengthen relationships between parliamentarians and help generate new communi¬cation inside and outside parliament," said Secretary General Spencer Oliver. "We look forward to expanding this collection so parliamentarians and governments can share and learn new innovative examples of citizen engagement."

"Each story proves that regardless the technology or the tactics, the democratic principles of open and accessible government remain the same," said Director of Communications Neil Simon. "Recognizing the diversity of our 56-country region, the varying accessibility of the Internet and the differences in democratic development, this collection offers something for everyone interested in public participation."

If you know other cases worth highlighting, submit your ideas here: www.oscepa.org/news-a-media/socialscape.