European Citizens’ Initiative

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, allows citizens to request new EU legislation once a million signatures across a significant number of member states have been collected asking the European Commission to do so, but there have been questions about this possibility works in pratice. The Belgian EU Presidency wants to secure an inter-institutional deal on implementing the European Citizens’ Initiative by December, the first anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty. Controverisal issues are admissibility criteria (the Commission has, for example, said it will block silly petitions) and the degree of cross-national support (ie how many countries). Apparently there are differences of opinion between the various institutions as to the admissibility criteria and the European Parliament has even suggested, in contradication to the wording in the treaty, that the 1,000,000 signature requirement be reduced.
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