1.Conclusions and recommendations
1.1. The Committee welcomes basic principles of the Commission's proposal, especially the three-stage approach of formal registration, an admissibility check of the subject-matter, and political evaluation.
1.2. The Committee sees its role in two phases: firstly, as a facilitator of embryonic citizens' initiatives, enabling those involved to network and possibly to meet, etc.; secondly, as an institutional mentor, issuing an opinion to assist the Commission in evaluating a successful initiative, holding hearings, and so on. The Committee will also take part in publicity campaigns.
1.3. However, the Committee does have a number of improvements to propose, including:
- a clearer reference to the values of the Union as grounds for turning down registrations;
- scrapping the requirement for various identity numbers when an initiative is signed;
- using the residence principle to classify signatories;
- extension of the time-limit to eighteen months;
- development of open-source software for online collection of signatures;
- lowering the minimum number of Member States to 1/4;
- lowering the threshold for an admissibility check to 50 000 signatories;
- a review of the regulation after three years;
- instigating inter-institutional cooperation.