Looking back to their past experiences as organisers of European Citizens' Initiatives, activists attending the ECI Day 2020 at the EESC on 25 February warned against asking people what Europe they want and then ignoring their input.
Despite an overly complicated ECI tool, one million signatures collected for diversity in Europe
At its plenary on 20 September, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) invited the initiators of the European Citizens' Initiative Minority SafePack – represented by Loránt Vincze, president of the Federal Union of European Nationalities – to present their request, which is aimed at improving the protection of national and linguistic minorities in Europe
Successful European citizen initiatives must trigger dialogue and proper follow-up at EU level
Six years after the introduction of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) with barely any impact on EU legislation, the constructive criticism, particularly from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and other institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman, is finally beginning to bear fruit, tempting the European Commission to review this important instrument of participative democracy.
The President referred to the shortcomings of the ECI legislation and the problems encountered by organisers in the first years. He announced that the EESC was offering organisers of registered ECIs the opportunity to have the text presenting their ECI translated, thus addressing one of the most pressing problems for new ECIs and presented the European Passport to Active Citizenship.
An active civil society was a means of ensuring active participation. The objective would be to make the ECI efficient and practical, eliminate the technical obstacles and improve communication.The ECI should remain in the mainstream of EU policies to unblock the process of European integration...
One year after the launch of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), now is a good time to assess this first year, hear the experiences of organisers, draw conclusions from the lessons learnt, devise intermediate solutions and start preparing for the 2015 revision of the regulation.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is one of the major innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon, aimed at increasing direct democracy in the EU. The initiative enables one million EU citizens, who are nationals of at least one quarter of the Member States, to call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act in an area within the competences of the EU.
ECI Day is an annual conference that has been organised by the EESC and its civil society partners since 2012, the year in which the first ECI Regulation 211/2011 was published. The 2020 (ninth) edition was marked by a major development, which was the entry into force of the new Regulation introducing substantial improvements and simplifications to the ECI procedure. However, the conference went beyond the text of the Regulation and presented a more global view of citizens' participation in general, with a view to putting the ECI in the context of topical societal developments and the debate on the Future of Europe. The EESC organised an interactive panel with researchers and authors on citizens' participation in the era of new technologies and more deliberative patterns in public consultations in order to allow for an open debate on present-day and future participation.
The European Economic and Social Committee and the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council wish to hold a joint information seminar on the European Citizens' Initiative. The aim of the seminar is to present the ECI, as well as the work done by the EESC in this field, and to exchange experiences of initiatives undertaken at national and European level to better understand and manage the impact of citizen-led campaigns on the actions and decisions of legislators.