#DigitalDiplomacy news from around the world

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The EU is offering €400 000 in prizes in Europe’s biggest ever app challenge. The purpose of the competition is to come up with new applications that help build smarter cities and smarter businesses. Campus Party, the world’s largest geek forum, will manage the contest, judged by specialized engineers from the EU-funded FI-WARE Consortium. Check conditions of entry and don’t miss out!

Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen held talks in Helsinki on Wednesday with his Estonian opposite number Andrus Ansip. A day earlier, the two used new technology to simultaneously sign a pact, each from their own capital city. The prime ministers signed an agreement on joint development of e-services. Aptly, they signed it electronically – in Tallinn and Helsinki respectively, using electronic ID cards. According to the Riga-based Baltic Course website, this is the world’s first digitally signed international agreement.

Researcher Marc Smith created a map of open government communities generated by social network analysis of Twitter. The map was created on November 20 using a dataset of tweets that contained “opengov” throughout November. You can explore an interactive version of it here.

With the sad occasion of Nelson Mandela’s passing, world leaders expressed their condolences via Twitter. A special hashtag was created  #RIPNelsonMandela and you can see on Storify who said what about one of the greatest heroes of our time.

One of the main conclusions of the General Assembly of News Agencies in the Balkans has been that social media is a trustworthy partner and an increasingly used source of information for the general audience and thus for news agencies. Also, social media is an important source of traffic for the agencies’ online readership. News agencies need to continue to use social media in their development strategies. Romania’s main news agency, Agerpres, has been the organizer of the General Assembly and holds the Presidency of the Association for the first time.

Sebastian Kurz is Austria’s new Foreign Minister. Why is this important? Because, at age 27, he is the youngest minister since the Second World War. Although he is regarded with skepticism due to his limited experience in the field of international relations, Kurz is an expert in new media communications. It will be interesting to follow how the Austrian foreign affairs will unfold in the next years!

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