Four years after the ECI regulation entered into force, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has pinpointed significant technical, legal and bureaucratic problems, along with a clear excess of powers attributed to the Commission.
In its opinion, the EESC recommends:
- to simplify the existing rules, adapting to the actual possibilities of the citizens (the choice of the launching date, lowering the minimum age, recognising the citizens' committees legally, and providing the platform for the online collection system on permanent basis) and to clarify the existing registration procedure;
- simplifying, reducing and harmonising the system of national standards laid down for the collection of data;
- guaranteeing an appropriate follow-up for successful initiatives and by communicating with ECI organisers on the legislative changes and political decisions that respond to their ECI (even if partially);
- separating the roles of the European Commission as institutional mentor and judge. The EESC would be a natural candidate for the role of facilitator and institutional mentor;
- to raise awareness of the ECI mechanism and ensure a serious information campaign;
to set up an institutional forum on the participation of European citizens, to become a permanent platform for discussion and debate at the Committee along the lines of the European Migration Forum, building on European Citizens' Initiative Day.
For full text please see:
Earlier EESC opinions on the ECI:
1. Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Citizens’ Initiative’ COM(2010) 119 final — 2010/0074 (COD), July 2010
2. Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty: participatory democracy and the citizens’ initiative (Article 11)’ (own-initiative opinion), March 2010