“Vouliwatch.” The name by itself may puzzle Greeks and non-Greeks alike, at first. But this bilingual name couldn’t be any more fitting.
“Vouli,” meaning “parliament” in Greek, combines seamlessly with the English verb “watch.” In other words, “parliamentary monitoring.”
And that’s exactly what this non-profit organization does.
Vouliwatch advocates for government transparency through an online platform which monitors the activities of Greek parliament members. These include their financial interests, positions on issues and voting results in legislative processes.
Through this platform, the organization allows Greek citizens to educate themselves politically and engage with their elected representatives
But Vouliwatch aims to disrupt this trend by bridging the gap between citizens and their political representatives. It strives toward a government which does not cater to special interests and corruption.
The end goal? That Greek citizens at home and abroad have a government working for their interests rather than those of individual politicians.
Pappas Post Publisher Gregory Pappas spent the afternoon with Vouliwatch’s executive director, Stefanos Loukoupolos, trying to get a better grasp on how democracy works in Greece, how it’s different from the United States and what some of the dangers are that threaten Greece’s fairness, transparency and openness.
See the full interview below.
Why Greeks outside Greece should “care” about Vouliwatch
Greeks across the globe are known to care for their homeland. They take pride in their heritage, collective history and struggles.
But Greece is not just a distant memory or an idea. It is not a glorious relic of the past; rather, it is a country which needs to redefine its identity and place in an ever-changing, unstable world.
To really “care” about Greece means not only to cherish its past, but most importantly, to long for its future.
To “care” about an organization such as Vouliwatch means caring about Greece’s future. It means caring about a Greece with robust democratic institutions. A Greece that is progressive and open. A Greece free from the chains of corruption, nepotism and political demagogy.
Approximately 300,000 Greek citizens outside of their home country have the right to vote. In a nation whose native population falls slightly below 11 million, this is a significant figure.
Vouliwatch works to give a voice to the voiceless, monitoring parliament and holding politicians accountable. Whether one lives in Greece or not, Vouliwatch’s digital platform allows all citizens to have a say in shaping the future of their homeland.
Note: Vouliwatch is an independent, non-partisan organization. All of their services, data, information and research remains free and open to the public. Vouliwatch believes that access to information is a right, not a privilege. Vouliwatch relies on the generosity of individuals and organizations to support its efforts for more transparency and accountability in the Greek political system.