(31 March 2015) – Today the European Commission publishes a Report looking at the application of European Citizens’ Initiatives since their entry into force three years ago.
In the past three years, an estimated six million Europeans have supported European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECI) and used their voice to bring important causes directly to the attention of European policy makers.
According to the Commission, the fact that two Citizens’ Initiatives have gone through the full process shows that the Regulation establishing the ECI has been fully implemented. However, the report acknowledges that there is still room to improve the process and identifies a number of possible issues for further discussion with stakeholders and institutions.
The report shows that, in the past three years, 51 requests to launch an initiative have been received. From these 51 requests, 31 were in fields of Commission competence and have been registered; 3 have so far reached the threshold of one million signatures; 12 reached the end of their collection period without reaching the threshold; 3 are still collecting statements of support; and 10 were withdrawn by the organisers.
Statements of support have been received from citizens in all 28 EU Member States. However, there are situations where some citizens have not been able to support Initiatives due to diverging Member States’ requirements.
The creation of online collection systems for signatures has also proved difficult for organisers and in some cases impacted on the time available to collect statements of support.