midiamimesNew report concludes European Citizens’ Initiative useless

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Signatures for 8 hour live animal transport petition (Photo: Felix Kottmair / Animals’ Aangels)An investigation into the European Citizens’ Initiative, established to provide a formal process for European citizens to challenge EU policy and advocate new regulation, has concluded that it is not fit for purpose and requires an overhaul.
 
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), established in 2012, is ‘an invitation to the European Commission to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate’. For a citizens’ initiative to be accepted, signatories from at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least 7 out of the 28 member states are required. There are also rules on the minimum number of signatories required from each of those 7 member states. The rules and procedures governing the citizens’ initiative are set out in an EU regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in February 2011.
 
The Report, titled ‘Towards a revision of the European Citizens’ Initiative’, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee, outlines the deficiencies of the ECI, which includes reference to difficulties with the software used to collect signatures, the complex nature of the criteria used and the low registration acceptance rate, overseen by the European Commission. The report stated, “so far, 40 per cent of the proposed ECIs have been declared ‘legally inadmissible’ by the Commission and refused registration”. The Report concludes that the ECI requires an overhaul to ensure a system that upholds the democratic values of the European Union.
 
Daniel Turner, spokesperson for ENDCAP has said, “ECI was promoted to European NGOs as a new efficient, democratic process of gathering and sharing public opinion to advocate change and improvements in EU governance. This report only confirms what we had already deduced; that this procedure was only devised to discourage public engagement in EU policy.” Turner continues, “ENDCAP applauds the European Parliament’s PETI Committee in their undertaking of this investigation and welcomes their conclusion that the ECI should review an overhaul.”
 
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Author: ENDCAP