ECI High-level panel. The ECI at a Crossroads - an Opportunity to Take a Step Forward

Webstreaming 05/62  .  Back to Agenda


Moderated by Daniela Vancic, Democracy International

  • Aurel Laurenţiu Plosceanu, EESC Vice-President in charge of Communication
  • Emily OReilly, European Ombudsman
  • Hendrik Van de Velde, Ambassador, Coordinator for the Belgian EU Presidency 2024
  • Tilly Metz, Member of the European Parliament 
  • Pascal Leardini, Deputy Secretary General, Secretariat-General of the European Commission
  • Olga Kikou, organiser of the ECI "End the Cage Age" 
  • Carsten Berg, The ECI Campaign 

Concept Note

Since the European Citizens' Initiative was introduced in 2012, European citizens have been able to use this unique tool to participate in the democratic life of the Union with increasing ease. Nevertheless, an appropriate and significant implementation of successful initiatives is still widely lacking. 

Several ECIs, such as Stop Glyphosate and Right2Water, have seen various levels of political backtracking from the initial response, or substantial delays in implementation. The latest example is the ECI End the Cage Age: the Commission committed to fully implementing this over two years ago but no related proposals have yet been published. 

This could undermine the use of the ECI as an instrument of participatory democracy, and pose serious questions about democratic integrity and constitutional malpractice. 

Therefore, this session will tackle the following question: how can the appropriate follow-up of successful ECIs be improved in order to strengthen both citizens’ participation in the Union and the ECI instrument itself? 

The session will also look to the future of European democracy and engage participants in discussions on the potential impact of the democratic innovations devised by the European Parliament in its proposal to amend the Treaties. 

Work organisation