(24 May 2017) – The European Commission is today launching a call for feedback on a potential reform later this year of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation — which allows 1 million citizens to call for new EU legislation.
Announcing the planned revision of the current EU rules in April, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said, “I know that the requirements to set up a Citizens’ Initiative and collect signatures can still be burdensome. 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.”
European Citizens’ Initiatives were introduced by the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, and allow 1 million citizens from 1 quarter of EU Member States to request that the Commission proposes a legal act in an area where it has competence.
The tool has been in operation for 5 years, since its launch in April 2012. The Commission is now seeking the views of citizens and stakeholders on how to better achieve the goals of fostering citizen participation and bringing the EU closer to citizens.
Over 40 initiatives have been registered so far, and have received support from more than 6 million people from all Member States. 3 Initiatives successfully secured 1 million signatories, with 2 of them — “Right2Water” and “Stop Vivisection” — influencing current EU policies, according to the Commission.