"The European Citizens Initiatives (ECI) is an instrument for citizens to take a role in European policy making. After 5 years of experience we see it is not working properly.
Successful European citizen initiatives must trigger dialogue and proper follow-up at EU level
Six years after the introduction of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) with barely any impact on EU legislation, the constructive criticism, particularly from the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and other institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman, is finally beginning to bear fruit, tempting the European Commission to review this important instrument of participative democracy.
EESC launches digital version of the European Passport to active citizenship.
The president of the European Parliament (EP) Antonio Tajani joined the EESC plenary session on Thursday 1 June to discuss the EP's priorities and the strengthening of cooperation between the two institutions. The EP's six priorities for this year are very much in line with the concerns of Europe's civil society, according to the EESC.
The successful experience of Estonia with E-government as well as questions concerning cybersecurity were discussed during the EESC conference on the “Future development of E-government in the EU” held in Tallinn. The EESC hosted a debate on the priorities of the incoming Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU which have as an overarching goal to improve the ...
On 26-27 June, the EESC, joining forces with other civil society organisations and European institutions, hosted the annual Civil Society Days. This major gathering of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from across Europe provided strong civil society input to the reflection on the future of Europe launched by the Commission with its "White Paper on the future of Europe". A forceful call was made for a new political impetus to relaunch the EU on the basis of our fundamental values and also to express a clear commitment by civil society organisations to forge ahead.
Following the new European Commission proposal of September 2017, the European citizens' initiative has new wind in its sails. It now faces a lot of changes, many of which may greatly simplify administrative and organizational burdens. These changes will soon be discussed in the three-way consultations between the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.
The ECI DAY 2018 will seize the moment and offer a first-hand insight into the positions of the three legislators, represented respectively by the First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, the European Parliament general rapporteur György Schöpflin and the 2018 Council Presidency ministers / state secretaries from Bulgaria and Austria.
The ECI DAY 2017 focused on the individual involvement of citizens and their active role in policy shaping. It was organised in the context of the 60th anniversary of the Rome treaties, the first treaty to talk about European citizenship, in order to show all the positive developments of the concept and a number of new tools to involve citizens. The theme "I participate!" was to underline the importance of citizens' personal involvement in building up a comprehensive democratic system in the EU.
This year's Civil Society Days will take place right after the plenary session at which the European Economic and Social Committee celebrates its 60th anniversary.
The focus of this Civil Society Days will be on fostering the current debate about the future of Europe and on highlighting the role across Europe of the civil society organisations which come together in the EESC to represent "Europe at work".
In line with this twofold emphasis, the CivSocDays 2018 will address Europe at work in relation to a dimension which has permeated our everyday working and living environment and will affect and shape our future, as well as the future of Europe: the digital world.
The EESC has been working on an information report the aim of which was to investigate how European Parliament election procedures are determined in each Member State, taking into account the needs of persons with disabilities and how this affects their right to vote.
In this context, a public hearing was organized to present the first conclusions of the report and to look into successful projects and practices.