COLLEGE MEETING: European Citizens’ Initiative: 9 million citizens have got involved in EU law-making

The European Commission has today adopted its second report on the application of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation. Since this new tool entered into force in 2012, an estimated 9 million Europeans from all 28 Member States have now supported a European Citizens’ Initiative.

Four successful initiatives have so far collected over 1 million signatures each and the Commission has committed to follow-up actions on 3 of them. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “The fact that 9 million people have supported a European Citizens’ Initiative in the past 6 years shows that this tool is stimulating participation and debate across national borders, with concrete impact on EU policies. But we need to go further: our recent reform proposal will make it much easier for citizens to launch and support new initiatives, also allowing young people from the age of 16 to have their say. “Non-legislative improvements to the tool have been implemented in the past 3 years. The Juncker Commission has also taken a more political approach, with all requests for registration (before signatures can be collected) now being heard by the College of Commissioners and partial registrations being granted in some cases. These changes have resulted in a significant increase of the number of initiatives accepted for registration: about 90% of proposed initiatives since April 2015, compared to 60% of all proposals in the previous 3-year period. After its first Report on the Application of the European Citizens’ Initiative, the Commission proposed a new Regulation to make the European Citizens’ Initiative more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and supporters. The proposal must now be adopted by the European Parliament and Council. More information is available in this press release.