A Flexible ECI Regulation will Inject more Democracy in the EU

, by JEF Europe

A Flexible ECI Regulation will Inject more Democracy in the EU

JEF seized the opportunity to take part in the broad public consultation launched by the European Commission to express its pro-democratic views on how the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) should function in practice.

“JEF welcomes the European Citizens’ Initiative as a concrete tool to strengthen European democracy that can help develop the European common public space and civil society and bridge the gap between the European Union and its Citizens,” said JEF-Europe President Philippe Adriaenssens, adding that “JEF takes a strong stance in favour of a flexible ECI that maximises its use in order to allow European Citizens to fully benefit from their European Citizenship.”

First of all, the Commission’s role is seen as the one of a legal facilitator and not a political evaluator of ECIs. “It is up to the European Parliament only to decide eventually whether to transpose a successful and legally valid ECI into European law or not and the examination role by the Commission should thus be limited.” explains Adriaenssens.

Secondly, JEF insists it should be possible to send a draft ECI proposal as a ‘preliminary question’ to the Commission asking feedback on its accessibility, such as the legal validity, in order to avoid that one has to discover that the subject-matter lies actually outside of the competences of the Commissions once the 1 million signatures are gathered. Once deemed valid, the ECI proposal should be registered on a specific website provided by the European Commission, where e-signatures could also be gathered.

Thirdly, JEF emphasises that thresholds according to national criteria can never be too low. Citizens of EU Member States are European Citizens regardless of the nationality they carry so the fewer member states needing to be involved, the merrier," argued Pauline Gessant, JEF-Europe Vice-President.

Fourthly, JEF believes the time limit for the collection of signatures should be 18 instead of 12 months, reminding that none of the two informal ECIs, which succeeded to collect 1 million signatures on paper, managed to do it within 12 months.

The Commission cannot just ignore or turn down a legally valid successful ECI, because this would seem arbitrary, lead to disappointment and widen the gap between the EU and its Citizens

Last but not least, The Commission cannot just ignore or turn down a legally valid successful ECI, because this would seem arbitrary, lead to disappointment and widen the gap between the EU and its Citizens. Philippe Adriaenssens is determined: "In favour of a strong European Civil Society, JEF reiterates in conclusion that when launching the public consultation Commissioner Margot Wallström stressed that this new democratic tool must be accessible, transparent and user-friendly."

Image: European Citizenship Globe, source: Google Images

Your comments

Your comments

pre-moderation

Warning, your message will only be displayed after it has been checked and approved.

Who are you?

To show your avatar with your message, register it first on gravatar.com (free et painless) and don’t forget to indicate your Email addresse here.

Enter your comment here

This form accepts SPIP shortcuts {{bold}} {italic} -*list [text->url] <quote> <code> and HTML code <q> <del> <ins>. To create paragraphs, just leave empty lines.

Follow the comments: RSS 2.0 | Atom