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European Citizens Initiative

Since the start of the Convention the Future of Europe, the CSCG has called for and supports the Citizens' Initiative which is now enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. In our view, this is an important new step to increase public participation in EU decision-making.

We welcome the fact that the Commission is acting quickly in order to make the article 11 a reality as regard the ECI and we participated in the consultation process, but we regret that the current Regulation proposal is not good enough for the ECI to be a genuine tool of participatory democracy for the European citizens.

We consider that further improvements to the draft are needed, both in terms of definition and of practical implementation, to ensure:

  • a user-friendly and accessible tool for European citizens: this is key for the success and ownership of the instrument by civil society; there is room for a more ambitious instrument and further simplification of procedures without undermining efficiency and security concerns.
  •  a high level of transparency to avoid any abusive use of the instrument and ensure citizen’s trust in it: the draft regulation is not precise enough on this aspect
  • a proper follow-up of successful initiatives: the EC proposal is extremely short and vague on the follow-up to be given to successful initiatives, while this is when everything starts! The quality of the follow-up will be crucial to ensure credibility of the instrument from the citizens’ point of view.


read the CSCG 2009 contribution to the consultation

read the EC draft regulation for the implementation of the ECI

read the June 2010 CSCG letter to Member States and MEPs