Warming up for the Citizens' Initiative
A Conference hosted by Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.
The Lisbon Treaty introduces a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). As required by the Treaty, on a proposal from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a Regulation which defines the rules and procedure governing this new instrument (Regulation (EU) No. 211/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council 16 February 2011 on the citizens' initiative).
The ECI will allow 1 million citizens from at least one quarter of the EU Member States to invite the European Commission to bring forward proposals for legal acts in areas where the Commission has the power to do so. The organisers of a citizens' initiative, a citizens' committee composed of at least 7 EU citizens who are resident in at least 7 different Member States, will have 1 year to collect the necessary statements of support. The number of statements of support has to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States. The Commission will then have 3 months to examine the initiative and decide how to act on it.
In accordance with the Regulation, it will only be possible to launch the first European Citizens' Initiatives from 1 April 2012.