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Public consultation on the ECI – You can take part!

List of content:

 

1. Public consultation on the ECI – You can take part!
2. European Ombudsman writes to Commission: Revision is needed
3. European Parliament takes action, too
4. Contribution to the Hearing „Restoring citizens´ confidence and trust in the European project“
5. Latest news: Already more than 300 contributions to the consultation

Dear friends of the ECI,

After years of campaigning we could hardly believe it when Commissioner Timmermans announced that the Commission will propose a revision to the ECI by the end of this year. This was in April, and indeed, much has happened since. We are glad to inform you that the ECI is back on the agenda! And even more: you can play an active role in the process that is just evolving.

Enjoy our news!

We also wish you a warm and beautiful summer,
your team of The ECI Campaign.
 

NEWS

Public consultation on the ECI – You can take part!

The Commission launched a public online consultation on the ECI at the end of May, asking more than 30 questions about both general positions and details of the procedure. The consultation will be open until August 16thWe now have the unique opportunity to share our views and concerns on the ECI with the European Commission. We are now closer than ever to an enhanced, user-friendly and easily accessible ECI that works. And we need your participation now more than ever! Please take part in the Commission's Public Consultation. We have prepared some guidelines on how to easily complete the consultation questionnaire, teaming up with Democracy International, Mehr Demokratie and ECAS. You can answer in any official EU language. Learn more about helpful contributions to the consultation. You can also directly download our suggestions for helpful answers here

European Ombudsman writes to Commission: Revision is needed

There is another milestone on the way to an improved ECI: Emily O´Reilly, the European Ombudsman, has written to the European Commission advocating a better ECI regulation. Her letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, which was published on July 13th., refers to the ongoing Public Consultation on the ECI and adds a number of her own recommendations. For example:
  • that the Commission should be willing to register more ECIs,
  • that the Commission´s reasoning should be “more robust, consistent and comprehensible to the citizens” when an ECI is deemed inadmissible,
  • that the requirements for the personal data of signatories urgently need simplification and harmonisation,
  • that the signature gathering should start when organisers are ready for it: either on the date when the OCS is certified or at a date chosen by the organisers themselves (within a given timeframe),
  • that “the Commission should explain its political choices to the public in a detailed and transparent manner”.
Ms O´Reilly´s letter is more than welcome! It is even of special value as some parts, such as the suggested changes in the start date for the signature collection (as mentioned), imply a change to the regulation 211/2011 itself. They cannot be achieved just by some technical improvements! You can read the letter here

European Parliament takes action, too

A  “Legislative Initiative Report” for an improved ECI regulation 211/2011 is now on the agenda of the European Parliament. The text was drafted by György Schöpflin (EPP), and has just been discussed for the first time by the  AFCO (for constitutional affairs) and CULT (culture and education) committees.

What is extraordinary about this draft report?

Firstly, that a "Legislative Initiative Report" is the most powerful instrument the Parliament has, should the MEP wish to ask the Commission to come up with a legislative proposal! So, this is a great signal that the efforts might result in a better regulation. Secondly, the suggested amendments aim at making the ECI more user-friendly and politically more powerful. The latter should mainly be achieved through an enhanced follow-up for successful ECIs i.e. those which managed to gather more than one million signatures. This is especially welcome because “a reformed ECI regulation must make policymaking not only ‘more accessible’ but also more impactful. Every successful ECI thus should lead to a legal proposal by the EC and a plenary vote by the EP,” says Carsten Berg, the director of The ECI Campaign. See also our comments on the draft report, written by James Organ, lecturer at the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool and a team member of The ECI Campaign. Read more. 
 

Contribution to the Hearing „Restoring citizens´ confidence and trust in the European project“

On June 22nd, the European Parliament invited us, The ECI Campaign, to give a presentation on how to restore trust and confidence in the European project. Carsten Berg spoke. He explained that the problems are due not only to a lack of citizens´ confidence in the EU, but also to the lack of EU leaders´ confidence in the citizens. "EU leaders distrust and fear citizens, and the less they provide channels for participation and public debate about the future of Europe the more skepticism and anger increase among citizens about the European project. The only solution in our view is: trust the citizens, and the citizens will trust the EU. For this we need to develop an open process of democratic participation which allows for rational and emotional ownership."
 
The European Citizens´ Initiative is a telling example. However, since Commissioner Timmermans finally announced the ECI revision process there is now a huge window of opportunity to improve things.

European democracy would generally better work through the "full exploitation of Digital Technology, by providing a Digital Public Participation Platform that includes a support infrastructure for citizen participation. Online platforms are the most important innovation in the history of civic engagement as they make online campaigning scalable and rapid and enormously increase the outreach (one of the biggest challenges in the EU given its size and diversity)."

Already looking beyond the next steps, Carsten has suggested starting a process to draft a new constitution for the EU.
 
Read the whole speech here

Latest news: Already more than 300 contributions to the consultation

A member of the EU Commission has said that more than 300 individual persons and organisations have already contributed to the consultation on the ECI, which will be continued for one more month. This is an amazing number, compared to other consultations by the Commission. So let us make it even more amazing and impressive to the EU Commission. Help us double the number!

OUR PROPOSALS FOR AN ECI THAT WORKS!

After consultation of all ECI campaigns, we have compiled 12 recommandations for improving significantly the European Citizens' Initiative to make it fulfil its potential as a transnational participatory democracy tool.
 
Read our proposals

OUR PUBLICATIONS

An ECI that Works! Learning from the first years of the European Citizens' Initiative

We have collected views and experience from all ECI organisers and main EU stakeholders in one single publication in order to offer policymakers and citizens an overview of what have happened since the ECI was launched. Download our publication »

Tips for ECI Campaign organisers

We brought together practical tips from 16 ECI campaigns on subjects such as setting goals for your ECI, building a transnational campaigning structure, effective signature collection, and more. Download our publication »
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About The ECI Campaign
 
We are independent, neutral in policy, non-profit and non-EU financed organisation working for the successful introduction and implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative right – the world’s first tool of participatory, transnational and digital democracy. Our work is carried by the invaluable input of volunteers, like-minded partners, donors and a small coordination team. Contact us at contact@citizens-initiative.eu.
Copyright © 2017 The ECI Campaign, All rights reserved.


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