9.00 - 9.30 Registration and welcome coffee

9.30 - 9.45 Welcome

  • Room JDE 62 - Interpretation EN/FR
  • Opening video 
  • Welcome address by Oliver Röpke, President of the European Economic and Social Committee
  • Opening remarks by Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency 

9.45 - 10.50 Opening session: Lessons learnt: Dos & Don'ts

Room JDE 62 – Interpretation EN/FR

As part of the European Year of Skills, ECI Day 2023 will focus on the skills that organisers need to make their initiative run successfully. Drawing on organisers' experience, the opening session will also discuss ways to enhance the ECI tool itself. What and how should be changed to make it a successful tool with a real impact on EU policy making?

Moderator: Violeta Jelić, President of the ECI ad hoc group

Setting the scene by opening remarks by ECI organisers

  • Olga Kikou, ECI End the Cage Age 
  • Virginia Fiume, Co-president of EUMANS, ECI A price for carbon to fight climate change (Stop Global Warming)
  • Christian Hempel, ECI Stop Finning – Stop the trade
  • Almog Sade, ECI The Green Garden Roof Tops


  • Oliver Röpke, President of the European Economic and Social Committee 
  • Ruud Boogert, Head of Unit, European Commission Secretariat General 
  • Alin Mituţa, MEP, European Parliament shadow rapporteur for Implementing report on ECI  
  • Assya Kavrakova, Executive Director, European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) 

10.50 - 11.00 Networking coffee

11.00 - 12.20 Two parallel workshops


Room JDE 62 – Interpretation EN/FR

The use of influencers has become a greater contributing factor to successful initiatives, but how to identify, approach, and incorporate external multipliers in an ECI campaign? How can you ensure free agents like influencers maintain the integrity of the ECI and of your message? This workshop serves as a training session for organisers or prospective organisers of ECIs where they will gain campaigning tips and practical skills on how to use influencers to maximise their ECI success.

Moderator: Daniela Vancic, European Program Manager, Democracy International


  • Olga Kikou, End the Cage Age
  • Christian Hempel, Stop Finning - Stop the trade
  • Attila Dabis, Cohesion Policy 
  • Virginia Fiume, Carbon Pricing 


Room JDE 63 – Interpretation EN/FR

Have an idea for an EU policy but you are not quite sure how to turn it into an official European citizens’ initiative? Registering a European citizens’ initiative can be challenging especially if you need legal knowledge to understand the competencies of the EU! The objective of this workshop will be for the participants to gain skills and knowledge on how to concretely transform their idea into an initiative as well as the support centre available that provides free legal advice to assist organisers in doing so.

Moderator: Vasiliki Mustakis, Participatory Democracy Coordinator, European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)


  • Ioana-Virginia Motoc, Associate, Freshfields 
  • Stéphanie Poppe, organiser of ‘Ensuring a dignified reception of migrants in Europe’ initiative 

12.30 - 14.00 Showcase of ongoing initiatives and lunch offered by the EESC (Atrium 6)

Participants are invited to visit the stands of the ongoing initiatives and of the ECI Day partners during the lunch break.

14.00 - 14.40 Two parallel workshops


Room JDE 63 – Interpretation EN/FR

In the European elections in June 2024, thousands of candidates will be running and competing for EU citizens' support. The chances of EU citizens of being heard by EU politicians are much greater, the media will be more inclined to address European politics and in turn the chances of success for ECIs increase. The 2019 EP elections haven proven already to be an attractive window of opportunity which had led to a record high number of ECI registrations. Now is the time to launch an ECI for the next election year 2024. This session is inviting all interested parties, especially future ECI organisers, who want to prepare an ECI in the coming months and to strategise together on how to best use the 2024 EP elections to organise the campaigning for an ECI with the highest possible impact.

Moderator: Carsten Berg, Director of The ECI Campaign


  • Elise Fleury, successful ECI Fur Free Europe
  • Arno Brandlhuber, future ECI HouseEurope!
  • Lorenzo Mineo, future ECI on the Future of Democracy
  • Xavier Dutoit, Fix the Status Quo 


Room JDE 62 – Interpretation EN/FR

Young people should have a say in decisions that directly or indirectly affect their future. We should, however, better support our youth and re-connect with them in the democratic process. But how can we do this, and how can we encourage our youth to use the democracy participatory tools successfully?
Well, for interested and confident EU citizens to use the ECI and other tools, they first need to understand how democracy works for them. Let's discuss how to practically increase young people's awareness of their political rights and how they can influence the policies!

Moderator: Kinga Joó, Member and former chair of EESC Ad hoc Group on ECI


  • Adriana Mungiu, Policy Officer - European Citizens' Initiative, European Commission Secretariat General
  • Daniela Vancic, European Program Manager, Democracy International
  • Martina Rubino, Activity Coordinator, ECIT Foundation

14.45 - 15.00 Wrapping up (JDE 62)

Moderators of parallel workshops and sessions

15.00 - 16.20 More deliberation, more impact – Connecting the ECI with Citizen Panels

Room JDE 62 – Interpretation EN/FR

The ECI is the world’s first transnational and digital mechanism of participatory democracy, which enables citizens to have their say on the political agenda of the EU. However, many ECI organisers remain frustrated due to the lack of responsiveness and limited impact of successful ECIs. In particular, it has been highlighted that the ECI suffers from a low level of deliberation, little opportunity for real exchange of views and limited public debate.
At the same time Citizens' Panels have gained popularity around the world as a tool for effective and meaningful citizen participation. Randomly selected citizens come together, deliberate over several weeks and develop policy recommendations together. After the Conference on the Future of Europe, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reinforced the statement: Brussels wants to be closer to its citizens and make regular use of randomly selected European Citizens’ Panels (ECPs).
This session will explore how the ECI and ECPs can come together in the EU's legal and institutional framework and its policy processes, benefit from each other and give a new impetus to participatory democracy in Europe.

Moderator: Christian Huesmann, Project Manager „Renew Democracy“,  Bertelsmann Stiftung


  • Prof. Dr. Alexander Trechsel, University of Lucerne
  • Carsten Berg, The ECI Campaign
  • Gabriele Bischoff, Member of European Parliament
  • Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul, Deputy Head of Unit - Senior Expert, European Commission
  • Christophe Quarez, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee
  • Sarah Händel, Mehr Demokratie e.V.

16.20 - 16.30 Closing remarks

  • by Violeta Jelić, chair of the EESC ECI ad hoc group
  • Room JDE 62 – Interpretation EN/FR

16.30 - 17.30 Networking cocktail