"European Citizens' Initiative: time to act!"
Perspectives from civil society and local/regional authorities
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 will enter into force on 1 April 2012, which offers 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. It also raises a number of issues 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 seminar will explore 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 will engage European, national and regional policy makers and will discuss the role of the two Committees in the ECI.
A detailed programme and online registration form will be available by 20 February 2012 on this website.