European Citizens' Initiative Day 2012: time to act!
Perspectives from civil society and local/regional authorities
Joint conference organised by the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
Brussels, 30 March 2012, 9.30-13.00
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is one of the major innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon and will increase participatory democracy in the EU. The initiative enables one million EU citizens to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act in an area within the competences of the EU.
The ECI entered into force on 1 April 2012, which offered a unique opportunity for the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee to discuss the concept of participatory democracy with civil society and public authorities at the local and regional level. A number of issues were raised about the role for both committees and its members, in stimulating, monitoring and reacting on citizens' initiatives, and on its position between civil society and the European policy makers.
The conference explored further the democratic potential of the ECI in Europe, as well as some recent best practices in the field of participatory democracy and citizen's participation. An interactive panel debate engaged European, national and regional policy makers and discussed the role of the two Committees in the ECI.
Please find the programme below.
Read about the conference in EESC President Staffan Nilsson's Comments.