The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has called for the full implementation of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty as a means to strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the EU and avoiding the rise of extremism in Europe. Investing in Article 11 will help bring citizens closer to the EU project and provide the platform for the institutions to listen and better take into account the views of its citizens. The EESC should be a key player in this process.
As early as March 2010, the Committee asked the Commission to publish a green paper on the implementation of the principle of participatory democracy as enshrined in Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty. The Committee notes that since then a considerable amount of work has been done to encourage citizens' participation, notably with the regulation on the European citizens' initiative. However, as an opinion drafted by Luca Jahier (president of the Various Interests Group) makes clear, much remains to be done on the issue of civil dialogue.