The 2023 edition of the EESC's annual European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) Day took place on Thursday 8 June. Participants in Brussels and online joined us to engage with high-level institutional representatives, civil society organisations and ECI organisers and supporters, and to discuss how to upskill citizens for a successful ECI with impact.
European Citizens' Initiative (Review) (own-initiative opinion) - Related Events
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The Conference on the Future of Europe brought to the forefront the importance of citizens having a say in EU policy, as well as how to facilitate their views. In the context of the EESC's opinion on citizen's panels an public consultation, this public hearing aims to examine these tools: What works? What doesn't? Who is the best placed to organise such deliberation?
Ten years ago, the first Regulation on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) entered into application, launching a new era in the history of citizens’ participation. The 2022 edition of ECI Day marked a special anniversary of this unique cross-border instrument.
The 10th edition of the ECI Day exceptionally took place online and over two days. 3 June was a full day of debates on the ECI instrument, focusing on aspects key to making the ECI more powerful and strengthening participatory democracy at EU level. On 4 June, the organisers of ongoing initiatives were given the floor to present their initiatives.
ECI Day is an annual conference that has been organised by the EESC and its civil society partners since 2012, the year in which the first ECI Regulation 211/2011 was published. The 2020 (ninth) edition was marked by a major development, which was the entry into force of the new Regulation introducing substantial improvements and simplifications to the ECI procedure. However, the conference went beyond the text of the Regulation and presented a more global view of citizens' participation in general, with a view to putting the ECI in the context of topical societal developments and the debate on the Future of Europe. The EESC organised an interactive panel with researchers and authors on citizens' participation in the era of new technologies and more deliberative patterns in public consultations in order to allow for an open debate on present-day and future participation.
The European Economic and Social Committee and the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council wish to hold a joint information seminar on the European Citizens' Initiative. The aim of the seminar is to present the ECI, as well as the work done by the EESC in this field, and to exchange experiences of initiatives undertaken at national and European level to better understand and manage the impact of citizen-led campaigns on the actions and decisions of legislators.
The year 2019 marks a new step in the life of the European Citizens' Initiative. In March, the European Parliament voted on the final text of the new ECI Regulation, which proposes a series of administrative simplifications and procedural changes to make this tool more citizen-friendly and less burdensome for the organisers. ECI Day 2019 was the first to present you with the final text of the new Regulation and explored further how it was intended to benefit active citizens wishing to influence the EU's agenda. This year, the theme of the conference was Digital Voices, reflecting the ongoing changes in the global trends in voting and citizens' active participation. Digital natives no longer wait for elections to express their preferences; they voice their concerns at all times and at every opportunity. The ECI Day explored these new digital trends in the particular context of the European elections.
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