ECAS’ contribution to the setup of the European Citizens' Initiative

European Citizens' Initiatives

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The European Citizens’ Initiative is a new tool for participatory democracy that will allow one million citizens from a significant number of Member States to have a say in European policy making.
The legal basis of this Initiative is art. 11.4 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which states that "not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties."  

Shortly after the entry into vigour of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009, the Commission launched a Green Paper in order to identify the stakeholders’ view on how the Citizens’ Initiative should be put into practice, to which ECAS gave its response.
On 31 March 2010, the Commission published a draft regulation that received a response from the Council in June 2010. In the second half of the year 2010, the European Parliament worked on simplyfying  the requirements of the draft regulation under the Belgian rotating presidency in 2010. Four rapporteurs (two from the Constitutional Affairs Committee, Alain Lamassoure - EPP and Zita Gurmai - S&D, two from the Petitions Committee, Gerald Häfner - The Greens/EFA and Diana Wallis- ALDE) were appointed. The EP gave a green light to the regulation in December 2010; it was signed by the Council and the Parliament on 14 February 2011  and published in the Official Journal on 11  March 2011.


During the legislative discussion, ECAS made it its goal to make the Citizens’ Initiative as user-friendly and effective as possible and to prevent its misuse. For this to happen, ECAS' involment has been focussed on three main actions:

• Actively taking part in all the public consultations organised by the different fractions of the European Parliament;
• Preparing the ground for the creation of a help-desk on Citizens’ Initiatives;
• Launching a survey to enquire about the civil society’s point of view on the personal identification data required to validate the signatures of a Citizens’ Initiative.



Before the publication of the regulation 

ECAS’ response to the green paper on Citizens’ Initiatives
ECAS’ preliminary draft on the creation of a help-desk on Citizens’ Initiatives
ECAS’ survey on personal identification data within the Citizens’ Initiative 
The European Parliament should take a stand for transnational democracy


After the publication of the regulation

ECAS conference: Getting Citizens' Initiative Started 
ECAS press releases: 
European Citizens’ Initiatives: time to get started with the ECAS seminar  
Getting the European Citizens’ Initiatives started now – and making them work   
ECAS launches a hotline on Citizens' Initiatives  


iconVienna declaration on the introduction of the European Citizens' Initiative 


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