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.
"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 ECI DAY serves as a meeting place and platform for the registered and future ECI organisers to meet and exchange information and experiences, and present their ECIs to the media.
The 2016 edition will focus on the ways of dealing with the identified difficulties, also to emphasize why the simplification of the rules is indispensable. The organisers will find out more about the help available, about what instruments are out there to maximize the impact of their initiatives. Finally, a broader context of participatory democracy in the EU will be drawn with information on the existing tools.
The event will focus on the role of civil society in preventing radicalisation of young people. The debates will serve to clarify how EU policy-makers can help civil society practitioners to successfully prevent radicalisation. The first panel will cover different elements of anti-radicalisation policy, focusing on what is needed to increase success rates. The second panel will focus on the role of education in preventing radicalisation. Participants will share their view on what can be done to render more effective existing civil society initiatives aiming to prevent radicalisation.
EESC's public hearing on the European Citizens Initiative in the context of the ongoing review process. Questions to be tackled: policy areas covered by the ECI and the validation process; the current political limits to participatory democracy on a European level; the role of the EU institutions and Member States in the process and a better defined support.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) play an important role in fostering participatory democracy and active citizenship in Europe and beyond; EU funding is paramount to support this work. The goal of this EESC hearing is to present working solutions and come up with recommendations for revised financial regulations and the future Multiannual Financial Framework after 2020 that would enable better civil dialogue and easier and transparent access to resources.
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.