The European Citizens' Initiative Day (ECI Day) is a high-level annual conference that has been organised by the European Economic and Social Committee since the inception of the European Citizens' Initiative in 2012. The first conference took place on 31 March 2012, in the eve of the actual entry into force of the ECI Regulation, 211/2011.
The European Economic and Social Committee hosts the conference on its premises and bears most of the costs, with various one-off smaller financial contributions from partners who sometimes cover the expenses of their own speakers in accordance with their internal rules and standards.
As the main organiser, the EESC plays a central role in terms of:
- proposing the date and the themes,
- defining the content of the conference,
- inviting and managing contacts with VIP speakers,
- inviting the moderators and speakers, including covering their costs,
- coordinating logistics, technical assistance etc.
Successful partnership with civil society organisations
Since the outset of the ECI Day, civil society organisations have played a crucial role in making it what it is today: a common meeting point for EU and national legislators, campaigners, citizens and civil society actors. The EESC maintains four permanent partnerships for the ECI Day conference with Democracy International, the European Citizen Action Service, the European Committee of the Regions, and the ECI Campaign. Since 2019, the ECI Day has gained a new research partner, the Bertelsmann Stiftung. Every year, however, they can be joined by other partners, giving the ECI Day the diversity needed when discussing participatory democracy at the European level. The rules governing the partnerships between the EESC and the partners can be found below. If you are interested in becoming a partner for the next ECI Day, please do not hesitate to contact the secretariat.