Did you know that there is a tool that actually allows you to participate directly in the development of EU policies? It’s called the European Citizens’ Initiative! With it, you can call for a legislative proposal in any field where the European Commission has competence.
We want to share more about how it works and how you can give your feedback to make it even more user-friendly. Here’s a call to action from the First Vice-President:
What is it?
A citizens’ initiative invites the European Commission to propose legislation with the following requirements to show widespread support:
• Each initiative is backed by at least 1 million EU citizens
• Signatories need to come from at least 7 out of the 28 EU countries
Once an initiative is set up, registered and meets the requirements, the next steps are:
• Commission representatives will meet the organisers so they can explain the issues raised by the initiative
• Organisers will have the opportunity to present their initiative at a public hearing in the European Parliament
• The European Commission will adopt a formal response on what action will be taken and the reasons for doing or not doing so
Could your idea be a citizens’ initiative?
If your idea relates to any of the policy areas where we have the power to propose legislation, then you could start an initiative. Agriculture, environment, food safety, energy, research and innovation and tourism are just a few areas where you can make your voice heard.
Feeling inspired? See the full list for more ideas.
Several initiatives have already been registered and successful organisers have met with us to present their views.
Even when organisers do not manage to reach the required support, their ideas could sometimes inspire our policy-makers. For example, the registered initiative ‘New Deal 4 Europe’ — outlining a plan for sustainable development to help Europe get out of the crisis — called attention to the important issue of public investment. This ended up influencing our current European Commission Investment Plan for Europe.
How can we improve it?
We want to listen more closely to your views. Encouraging people in the European Union to feel empowered by this instrument, First Vice-President Timmermans said:
“I want to make the European Citizens’ Initiative more accessible and citizen-friendly. I want the Citizens’ Initiative to become a popular and living instrument, one that citizens are familiar with.”
We want to listen more closely to your views, especially on what kind of personal data you are willing to provide when supporting an initiative.
Give your feedback to the public consultation open until 16 August. Only the first two sections are required, and then you can pick the sections most important to you.
Learn more about the ECI
Get to know more → basic facts
Give your feedback on the tool→ participate in the public consultation
Answers for you→ common questions
Areas for possible initiatives → guidance on European Commission competences