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The European Citizens Initiative Background Preparing the ground rules Key elements of the Commission proposal Lucy Swan – Secretariat General – Unit E 1 (institutional matters)
The European Citizens Initiative Background Introduced by the Convention in the draft European Constitution and maintained in Lisbon Treaty One of the most visible and concrete innovation of LT First transnational instrument of participatory democracy Unique opportunity to bring EU closer to citizens!
The European Citizens Initiative Background Article 11(4) TUE: Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties. The procedures and conditions required for such a citizens initiative shall be determined in accordance with the first paragraph of Article 24 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The European Citizens Initiative Background Article 24, 1st subparagraph, TFEU: The European Parliament and the Council, acting by means of regulations in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, shall adopt the provisions for the procedures and conditions required for a citizens initiative within the meaning of Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union, including the minimum number of Member States from which such citizens must come.
The European Citizens Initiative Preparing the ground rules Green paper on ECI: 1st act to implement LT: adopted 11/11/09 Over 300 responses from citizens, organisations, public authorities Public hearing MS expert meeting EP resolution of 05/2009
The European Citizens Initiative Preparing the ground rules Key message from consultation: Instrument must be user- friendly Some rules necessary to prevent abuse but should be proportionate
The European Citizens Initiative Preparing the ground rules Outcome of discussions with MS: Procedures for national/local CIs vary considerably Different traditions in different MS Divergent positions
The European Citizens Initiative Preparing the ground rules Conclusion of preparatory work: Instrument should be user-friendly : same conditions for all EU citizens ECIs need to be representative of Union interest Burden for MS should be minimized Rules should be proportionate to nature of ECI NEED TO STRIKE RIGHT BALANCE
The European Citizens Initiative Key elements of the Commission proposal (1) Minimum n° of MS: 1/3 Minimum n° of citizens per MS: EP degressive proportionality Minimum age: EP voting age Registration in online register: initial filter
The European Citizens Initiative Key elements of the Commission proposal (2) Organiser responsible for collection Time limit for collection: 1 year Online collection possible – specific security requirements Admissibility check: by COM after 300.000 signatures from 3 MS
The European Citizens Initiative Key elements of the Commission proposal (3) MS responsible for verification: free to decide how – e.g. random check Final stage: successful initiative: COM has 4 months to examine and respond: Communication
The European Citizens Initiative Conclusion - Next steps Balanced well thought-through proposal Discussions initiated in Council and EP Adoption and entry into force by end 2010????
The European Citizens Initiative Further info: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretaria t_general/citizens_initiative/inde x_en.htm
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