The ECI Campaign newsletter – July 2016
View this email in your browser

After Brexit: how can citizen participation be put back on the agenda?

This newsletter includes:
  1. Edito: What shall we do after Brexit?
  2. EU Parliament pushes the Commission to re-prioritize ECI reform
  3. 40,000 citizens sign our petition for ECI Reform
  4. Report on our conference in Liverpool
  5. ECI Stop Vivisection Reveals Shocking Treatment by EU Institutions
Dear friends of the ECI,
UK citizens voted to leave the EU. Since then, no-one – no UK leaders, no EU leaders – has come forward with a plan or a vision for the future.

The uncertainty that this vote has created is a wake-up call to the EU – everyone agrees change must happen within the EU. But how? And how shall we proceed with the European Citizens' Initiative in this extraordinary context?

At the ECI Campaign Association, we share a feeling that we might need to act and think bigger in the coming months. The new extraordinary circumstances oblige us to think beyond the reform of the ECI.

As many ECI organisers know too well, the current Treaty is an obstacle to many meaningful ideas. Many innovative proposals are systematically dismissed because they do not fit within the current Treaty according to the EC's interpretation. Therefore, if we are serious about improving the functioning of the EU, discussing Treaty change must be possible. 

The ECI in itself is suffering from the straightjacket of the current Treaty. Some of our proposals have been repeatedly disregarded because they might imply Treaty amendments. 

Sadly, however, any revision of the Treaty is considered taboo by too many EU leaders, who remain shocked by the series of referendum defeats a few years ago.

With the Commission currently blocking any reform of the ECI in the short term, should we take action at a higher level, for example to push for a new Convention? 

Together, we need to face this new reality and use the momentum to push for real change. We want to know what you think about Brexit and where we should go from here: what would you do to change the power balance in the EU towards more citizen participation?

We hope to co-create the next steps together.

On behalf of the team,
Carsten Berg and Stan Jourdan


EU Parliament resolution includes the ECI reform into the Commission's working program

Two weeks ago, the European Parliament voted on the EU Commission's Work Program for 2017. Thanks to our lobbying efforts, the resolution includes the following paragraph on the ECI: 

“Asks the Commission to take initiatives with a view to strengthening the European institutions and encouraging EU citizens to be more involved in European political life (…) believes that stronger actions are also possible to inform EU citizens about their rights, exploit the potential of the European Citizens’ Initiative and strengthen the role of the EU Ombudsman.”

40,000 people sign our petition to reform the ECI

As you well know, the ECI urgently needs improvement – we convinced the European Parliament on many points, but now the Commission is refusing to do its job! As a concerted effort with Mehr Demokratie and Democracy International which we launched a petition in April to heat the pressure on the Commission to initiate a new regulation. 40,000 citizens have joined our call. Will you add your name too?

Beyond the ECI: Liverpool conference broadens vision for participatory democracy in the EU

On 5 May 2016, The ECI Campaign co-organised a conference at the University of Liverpool to explore diverse ways to better involve citizens in the EU. Participants concluded that a more democratic EU is possible, even within the current EU legal framework. Read our report »

Successful ECI Stop Vivisection Reveals Shocking Treatment by EU Institutions

Following its success in collecting more than one million signatures, the pro-animal welfare citizen's initiative 'Stop Vivisection' was granted a hearing at the European Parliament in 2015. However, the hearing was very abnormally arranged: the organisers combined were only allowed 34 minutes to talk, and had to spend 6,000 euros to cover travel expenses for a scientific expert chosen by... the Commission! Read more »

ECI Revision Documents - All in One Place

In order to be up to date with the ongoing ECI discussions, we publish in one place all the relevant documents (reports, recommendations, notes etc.) produced by different ECI stakeholders. 
Click for more »

ECI Calendar 

Stay updated on all ECI-related events. Click for more »


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


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 »
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
Copyright © 2016 The ECI Campaign, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp