Procedure : 2017/0220(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0226/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0226/2018

Debates :

PV 11/03/2019 - 22
CRE 11/03/2019 - 22

Votes :

PV 05/07/2018 - 6.5
CRE 05/07/2018 - 6.5
PV 12/03/2019 - 9.19
CRE 12/03/2019 - 9.19
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2019)0153

REPORT     ***I
PDF 1083kWORD 172k
27.6.2018
PE 618.206v02-00 A8-0226/2018

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European citizens’ initiative

(COM(2017)0482 – C8‑0308/2017 – 2017/0220(COD))

Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Rapporteur: György Schöpflin

ERRATA/ADDENDA
DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Petitions
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European citizens’ initiative

(COM(2017)0482 – C8‑0308/2017 – 2017/0220(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2017)0482),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 24 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0308/2017),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Petitions (A8-0226/2018),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment    1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1a)  Pursuant to Article 11 TEU, the ECI is an integral part of the venues provided to the citizens of the Union to exchange their views on all areas of Union policy, to participate in a transparent, open and regular dialogue with the Union’s institutions and to ensure that the Union's actions are coherent and transparent. In addition, the ECI allows citizens of the Union to invite the Commission to submit a legislative proposal. The ECI requires commitments from the Union institutions to make the exercise of Union citizens’ rights of as effective as possible, but requires those citizens to respect the principles and rules set out for their engagement in the democratic life of the Union, in particular those governing the democratic functioning of the Union.

Amendment    2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4)  The European Parliament, in its resolution on the European citizens’ initiative of 28 October 201525 called on the Commission to review Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1179/2011.

(4)  The European Parliament, in its resolution on the European citizens’ initiative of 28 October 201525 and in the context of the preparation of its own-initiative legislative report (2017/2024(INL), called on the Commission to review comprehensively and to amend as soon as possible Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1179/2011. It reiterated its call in the context of the preparation of its own-initiative legislative report with recommendations to the Commission on Revision of Regulation (EU) 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative (2017/2024(INL)).

__________________

__________________

25 2014/2257(INI).

25 2014/2257(INI).

Amendment    3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a)  In the process leading to the revision of the ECI, a number of organisations and Union bodies, in particular the European Economic and Social Committee, have helped to fill in the gaps in Regulation (EU) No 211/20111a, by lending valuable support to the ECI organisers, by providing a platform for discussion about improvements to that Regulation, and by offering institutional mentoring and facilitation to the group of organisers, by holding hearings at their premises and fostering democratic participation within the Union.

 

___________________

 

1a Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 on the citizens’ initiative (OJ L 65, 11.3.2011).

Amendment    4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5)  This Regulation aims to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and supporters, in order to achieve the full potential of the European citizens’ initiative as a tool to foster debate and citizen participation at Union level, and to bring the Union closer to its citizens.

(5)  This Regulation aims to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and supporters, and to strengthen its follow-up in order to achieve its full potential as a tool to foster debate and to encourage as many citizens of the Union as possible to influence the decision-making process of the Union, by bringing it closer to its citizens and thus reinforcing the principle of democracy and the democratic functioning of the Union.

Amendment    5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6)  To achieve those objectives, the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of this instrument. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations.

(6)  To achieve those objectives, the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be effective, transparent, clear, simple, user-friendly including for persons with disabilities and proportionate to the nature of this instrument. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations and ensure that successful initiatives receive an appropriate follow-up from the Commission.

Amendment    6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10)  In order to ensure that an initiative is representative and to ensure similar conditions for citizens to support an initiative, it is also appropriate to establish the minimum number of signatories coming from each of those Member States. Those minimum numbers of signatories required in each Member State should be degressively proportional and correspond to the number of Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750.

(10)  In order to ensure that an initiative is representative and to ensure similar conditions for citizens to support an initiative, it is also appropriate to establish the minimum number of signatories coming from each of those Member States. Those minimum numbers of signatories required in each Member State should be degressively proportional and correspond to the number of Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by the total number of the Members of the European Parliament.

Amendment    7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11)  Every citizen of the Union should have the right to support an initiative on paper or online, under similar conditions regardless of the Member State of nationality or residence.

(11)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more inclusive and visible, for the promotion and diffusion of the ECI as well as for the collection of signatures it should be possible to use regional or minority languages.

Amendment    8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible and to provide support to citizens and organisers, the Commission should provide information and assistance to organisers and make available an online collaborative platform to provide a dedicated discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens’ initiative. To ensure proximity to citizens, Member States should establish one or more contact points in their respective territories to provide citizens with information and assistance regarding the European citizens’ initiative.

(13)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible the Commission should provide clear, accurate and complete information and legal and practical support to organisers by making available an online collaborative platform. The platform should provide a dedicated discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens’ initiative. It should be managed and updated, under the administrative control of the Commission, by independent organisations and external experts with proven experience in organisation of ECIs, who should be entitled to contribute to the discussion forum. To ensure proximity to citizens, Member States should establish in their respective territories one or more contact points accessible to people with disabilities to provide citizens with information and legal and practical assistance regarding the European citizens’ initiative, thus raising awareness and fostering the debate concerning on-going initiatives at national level. Where instruments that are similar to the ECI exist at the national level, such contact points should be closely connected with the services or platforms providing support for the use of those national instruments. Those contact points should operate as one-stop-shops designed to help organisers by providing exhaustive information as well as specific technical and legal advice.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, and taking into account that the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate, it is appropriate to partially register an initiative in cases where only part or parts of the initiative meet the requirements for registration under this Regulation. Initiatives should be partially registered where a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties and all the other registration requirements are met. Clarity and transparency should be ensured as regards the scope of the partial registration and potential signatories should be informed of the scope of the registration and of the fact that statements of support are collected only in relation to the scope of the registration of the initiative.

(16)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative effective and more accessible, and taking into account that the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate, it is appropriate to partially register an initiative in cases where only part or parts of the initiative meet the requirements for registration under this Regulation. Initiatives should be partially registered where a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties and all the other registration requirements are met. Clarity and transparency should be ensured as regards the scope of the partial registration and potential signatories should be informed of the scope of the registration and of the fact that statements of support are collected only in relation to the scope of the registration of the initiative. The choice to proceed to a partial registration of an initiative should be without prejudice to the Commission's obligation to fully justify its decision in that respect.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23)  In order to promote participation and public debate on the issues raised by the initiatives, where an initiative supported by the required number of signatories and fulfilling the other requirements of this Regulation is submitted to the Commission, the group of organisers should have the right to present that initiative at a public hearing at Union level. The public hearing should be co-organised by the Commission and the European Parliament within three months from the submission of the initiative and ensure a balanced representation of relevant public and private interests well as the representation at an appropriate level of the Commission. Other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union as well as interested stakeholders should have the opportunity to participate in the hearing.

(23)  In order to promote participation and public debate on the issues raised by the initiatives, where an initiative supported by the required number of signatories and fulfilling the other requirements of this Regulation is submitted to the Commission, the group of organisers should have the right to present that initiative at a public hearing at Union level. The European Parliament should organise that public hearing within three months from the submission of the initiative to the Commission. The European Parliament should ensure a balanced representation of the interests of relevant stakeholders, including civil society, social partners, and experts, as well as the representation at an appropriate level of the Council and the Commission. Other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union, in particular the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, as well as interested stakeholders should have the opportunity to participate in the hearing. .

Amendment    11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(23a)  In order to assess the political support for an initiative, the European Parliament, which is the institution that represents the citizens of the Union, should be entitled to hold a debate in accordance with its own Rules of Procedure, during its plenary session, on the actions taken by the Commission to follow-up to its communication on successfully submitted initiatives. The debate could be concluded by the adoption of a motion for resolution which could also suggest to trigger the mechanism provided for in Article 225 TFEU, if the Commission does not submit a proposal for a legal act.

Amendment    12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24)  To ensure the effective participation of citizens in the democratic life of the Union, the Commission should examine a valid initiative and respond to it. The Commission should therefore set out its legal and political conclusions as well as the action it intends to take within a period of five months from the receipt of the initiative. The Commission should explain in a clear, comprehensible and detailed manner the reasons for its intended action, and should likewise give its reasons if it does not intend to take any action.

(24)  To ensure the effective participation of citizens in the democratic life of the Union, the Commission should examine a valid initiative which has reached the required number of at least one million statements of support and respond to it. The Commission should therefore set out its legal and political conclusions as well as the action it intends to take within a period of six months from the receipt of the initiative. The Commission should explain in a clear, comprehensible and detailed manner the reasons for its intended action, in particular, whether it will submit a proposal for a legal act and should likewise give its reasons, if it does not intend to take any action. A valid initiative should be without prejudice to the Commission's right of initiative.

Amendment    13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25)  The support and funding for initiatives should be transparent. Therefore groups of organisers should provide updated information on the sources of support and funding for their initiatives between the date of registration and the date at which the initiative is submitted to the Commission. Entities, notably organisations which under the Treaties contribute to forming European political awareness and expressing the will of citizens of the Union, should be able to promote and provide support and funding to initiatives, provided that they do so in accordance with the procedures and conditions laid down by this Regulation and with full transparency.

(25)  The support and funding for initiatives should be transparent and accountable. Therefore groups of organisers should provide updated and detailed information on the sources of support and funding for their initiatives between the date of registration and the date at which the initiative is submitted to the Commission. Those groups of organisers should report on all of their sources of funding on a regular basis, and the Commission should make those sources clearly apparent on the register. Entities, notably organisations which under the Treaties contribute to forming European political awareness and expressing the will of citizens of the Union, should be able to promote and provide support and funding to initiatives, provided that they do so in accordance with the procedures and conditions laid down by this Regulation and with full transparency. In order to enhance the transparency of financing of ECI activities and the visibility of the ECI as a tool for engaging citizens, this Regulation should have its own financial Programme. Such a financial Programme should contribute to the support of the entities and organisations promoting citizens engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union, in particular by raising public awareness about the ECI instrument, as a tool to foster participatory democracy at Union level and to contribute to the financing of technical or legal support to be provided to ECIs’ organisers free of charge.

Amendment    14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(32)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 8 thereof.

(32)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Amendment    15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Regulation establishes the procedures and conditions required for an initiative inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens of the Union consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties (the ‘European citizens’ initiative’ or ‘initiative’).

This Regulation establishes the procedures and conditions required for an initiative inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens of the Union consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties (the ‘European citizens’ initiative’ or ‘initiative’).

Amendment    16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Citizens residing in Member States other than those of their nationality shall have the right to support an initiative either in their Member State of residence or in the Member State of which they are nationals.

Amendment    17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Member States and the Commission shall adopt all the necessary provisions to facilitate the exercise by persons with disabilities of their right to support a citizens' initiative.

Amendment    18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)   in at least one quarter of the Member States, the number of signatories is at least equal to the minimum number set out in Annex I, corresponding to the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750, at the time of registration of the initiative.

(b)   in at least one quarter of the Member States, the number of signatories is at least equal to the minimum number set out in Annex I, corresponding to the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by the total number of Members of the European Parliament, at the time of registration of the initiative.

Amendment    19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  For the purpose of paragraph 1 a signatory shall be counted in its Member State of nationality.

2.  For the purpose of paragraph 1 a signatory shall be counted in its Member State of nationality irrespective of the place where the statement of support was signed by the signatory.

Amendment    20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The Commission shall, upon request, provide information and assistance about the European citizens’ initiative to citizens and groups of organisers.

1.  The Commission shall, upon request, provide to citizens and groups of organisers easily accessible, clear, accurate and comprehensive information about and appropriate expert and legal assistance in connection with the European citizens’ initiative.

Amendment    21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.   The Commission shall make available an online collaborative platform providing citizens and groups of organisers with a discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens’ initiative.

2.  The Commission shall make available an online collaborative platform to support the exchange of information and best practices between stakeholders including groups of organisers, independent experts, NGOs and other institutions and bodies of the Union.

 

That platform shall provide citizens and groups of organizers with a discussion forum and with information as well as practical and legal advice about the European citizens’ initiative.

 

The online collaborative platform shall be user-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities.

 

It shall be managed and updated, under the administrative control of the Commission by independent organisations and external experts with proven experience in organisation of ECIs, which may also contribute to the discussion forum.

 

After the publication of this Regulation, the Commission shall issue in due time a user guide in order to facilitate the understanding of the European citizens' initiative.

The costs of operating and maintaining the online collaborative platform shall be borne by the general budget of the European Union.

The costs of operating and maintaining the online collaborative platform shall be borne by the general budget of the European Union.

Amendment    22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission shall make available an online register ('the register') allowing groups of organisers to manage their initiative throughout the procedure. The register shall comprise a public website providing information on the European citizens’ initiative in general as well as on specific initiatives and their respective status.

3.  The Commission shall make publicly available an online register ('the register') allowing groups of organisers to manage their initiative throughout the procedure. The register shall comprise a public website providing clear, accurate and complete information on the European citizens’ initiative in general as well as on specific initiatives and their respective status, including the number of statements of support collected and declared funding as communicated by the groups of organisers. The Commission shall update the register on a regular basis and shall record the information submitted by the group of organisers in a clearly visible and easily accessible way.

Amendment    23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  After the Commission has registered an initiative in accordance with Article 6, it shall provide the translation of the content of that initiative into all the official languages of the Union for its publication in the register and its use for the collection of statements of support in accordance with this Regulation. A group of organisers may, in addition, provide translations into all the official languages of the Union of the Annex for its publication in the register and also, as the case may be, of the draft legal act referred to in Annex II and submitted in accordance with Article 6(2).

4.  After the Commission has registered an initiative in accordance with Article 6, it shall provide the translation of the content of that initiative into all the official languages of the Union for its publication in the register and its use for the collection of statements of support in accordance with this Regulation. A group of organisers may, in addition, request the Commission to provide, and to publish in the register, a translation into all the official languages of the Union of the Annex and, where applicable, of the draft legal act referred to in Annex II and submitted in accordance with Article 6(2), provided that those translations do not exceed the limits set out in Annex II. All translations exceeding such limits shall remain the responsibility of the group of organisers.

Amendment    24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  Each Member State shall establish one or more contact points to provide information and assistance to groups of organisers in setting up a European citizens’ initiative.

6.  Each Member State shall establish one or more digital and physical dedicated ECI contact points to provide practical and legal information, advice and assistance to groups of organisers who are setting up a European citizens’ initiative. Each Member State and the Commission shall ensure that the contact points closely cooperate with the relevant services of the Commission and its representations in the Member States. The advice shall include information on the creation of a legal entity in accordance with the national law of a Member State, as referred to in Article 5(7).the assistance shall be available in formats accessible to persons with disabilities, free of charge.

 

The Member States shall encourage national, regional and local authorities to raise awareness of, and to disseminate information on, the European citizens’ initiative to their citizens.

Amendment    25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  An initiative shall be prepared and managed by a group of at least seven natural persons (the ‘group of organisers’). Members of the European Parliament shall not be counted for the purpose of that minimum number.

1.  An initiative shall be prepared and managed by a group of natural persons (the ‘group of organisers’). whose number shall correspond to at least one quarter of Member States.. Members of the European Parliament and Members of national parliaments shall not be counted for the purpose of that minimum number.

Amendment    26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  Throughout the organisational phase preceding the registration of a proposed citizens’ initiative, the organisers may request the support of the ECI contact points, Europe Direct or of the Commission’s ECI services, which shall provide full assistance and guidance free of charge and act, where possible, as one-stop-shops directing the organisers to the relevant sources of information as well as to services able to provide a specific technical and legal advice.

Amendment    27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The members of the group of organisers shall be citizens of the Union, of the age to be entitled to vote in elections to the European Parliament and residents of at least seven different Member States.

2.  The members of the group of organisers shall be citizens of the Union, of the age to be entitled to vote in elections to the European Parliament and residents of at least one quarter of the Member States.

Amendment    28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e)  the initiative is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union.

(e)  the initiative is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and rights enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Amendment    29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In that case, the group of organisers may either amend the initiative to take into account the Commission's assessment to ensure that the initiative is in conformity with the requirement laid down in paragraph 3(c) or maintain or withdraw the initial initiative. The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of its choice within one month of the receipt of the Commission's assessment giving the reasons thereof, and shall, as the case may be, transmit amendments to the information referred to in Annex II to replace the initial initiative.

In that case, the group of organisers may either amend the initiative to take into account the Commission's assessment to ensure that the initiative is in conformity with the requirement laid down in paragraph 3(c) or maintain or withdraw the initial initiative. The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of its choice within two months of the receipt of the Commission's assessment giving the reasons thereof, and shall, as the case may be, transmit amendments to the information referred to in Annex II to replace the initial initiative.

Amendment    30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 3 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  partially register the initiative if a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties;

(b)  partially register the initiative if part of the initiative does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties;

Amendment    31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7.  Where it refuses to register or only partially registers an initiative in accordance with paragraph 4, the Commission shall inform the group of organisers of the reasons for its decision and of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available to them.

7.  Where it refuses to register or only partially registers an initiative in accordance with paragraph 4, the Commission shall inform the group of organisers in full detail of the reasons for its decision, enabling the group of organisers to make a detailed assessment of the grounds for the Commission’s refusal, including the suggested legal basis or bases. That assessment should take into account the information contained in the Annex referred to in point 8 of Annex II, if available. All decisions on refusing to register or to partially register an initiative shall be published on the website of the European citizens’ initiative.

Amendment    32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

7a.  For the purposes of this Article, special attention shall be paid to Article 296(2) TFEU and to Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Amendment    33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

All statements of support shall be collected within a period not exceeding 12 months from a date chosen by the group of organisers (the 'collection period'), without prejudice to Article 11(6). That date must be not later than three months from the registration of the initiative in accordance with Article 6.

All statements of support shall be collected, within a period not exceeding 12 months from a date chosen by the group of organisers (the 'collection period'), without prejudice to Article 11(6). That date must be not later than six months from the registration of the initiative in accordance with Article 6.

Amendment    34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where the group of organisers wishes to terminate the collection of statements of support before the end of 12 months after the beginning of the collection period, it shall inform the Commission of the date at which the collection period is to end.

Where, during the collection period, the group of organisers wishes to terminate the collection of statements of support before the end of a period of 12 months, it shall inform the Commission of that intention at least 10 days before the date at which the collection period is to end.

Amendment    35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purpose of online collection of statements of support, the Commission shall set-up and operate, by 1 January 2020, a central online collection system, in accordance with Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017.

For the purpose of online collection of statements of support, the Commission shall set-up and operate, by 1 January 2020, central online collection system, in accordance with Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017. The use of this system shall be voluntary and free of charge for all organisers.

Amendment    36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a.  The group of organisers using other certified online collection systems shall have the possibility to use the servers operated by the Commission free of charge.

 

Where statements of support are collected online, the data obtained through the online collection system shall be stored in the territory of the European Union.

Amendment    37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  When the Commission receives a valid initiative in respect of which the statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, it shall publish without delay a notice to that effect in the register and transmit the initiative to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

1.  When the Commission receives a valid initiative in respect of which the statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, it shall publish without delay a notice to that effect in the register and transmit the initiative to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, as well as to national parliaments.

Amendment    38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Within three months after the submission of the initiative, the group of organisers shall be given the opportunity to present the initiative at a public hearing.

Within three months after the submission of the initiative, the group of organisers shall be given an opportunity to present the initiative at a public hearing in the European Parliament, in the interest of generating a Union-wide public debate on the proposed initiative. The debate shall involve stakeholders representing diverse interests.

Amendment    39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

TThe Commission and the European Parliament shall co-organize the public hearing at the European Parliament. Representatives of the other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union, as well as interested stakeholders, shall be given the opportunity to participate in the hearing.

The European Parliament shall organise the public hearing at its premises. Representatives of the Council, the Commission, the European Economic Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, as well as of other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union, representatives of civil society, social partners, and other interested stakeholders, including national parliaments, shall be given the opportunity to participate in the hearing. The hearing shall be web-streamed and thereafter publically available on the ECI website.

Amendment    40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The hearing shall pursue the public interest. The exclusive objective of the hearing is to inform exhaustively about the content and aims of an initiative.

Amendment    41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The hearing shall be intended to provide the group of organisers with a forum to present their initiative by means of a detailed presentation of its purpose and the suggested concrete legislative goals.

Amendment    42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission and the European Parliament shall ensure a balanced representation of relevant public and private interests.

In order to encourage an inclusive public debate on the proposed initiative, the European Parliament shall ensure a balanced representation of relevant stakeholders, including public and private interests, as well as the representation of institutions and advisory bodies of the Union.

Amendment    43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission shall be represented in the hearing at an appropriate level.

3.  The Commission and Council shall be represented in the hearings at an appropriate level. The presence of at least one member of the College of Commissioners shall be assured.

Amendment    44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Within one month of the submission of the initiative, the Commission shall receive the group of organisers at an appropriate level to allow them to explain in detail the matters raised by the initiative.

1.  Within one month of the submission of a valid initiative in respect of which statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, the Commission shall receive the group of organisers at an appropriate level to allow them to explain in detail the purpose of the initiative.

Amendment    45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Within five months after the publication of the initiative in accordance with Article 14(1), and after the public hearing referred to in Article 14(2), the Commission shall set out in a communication its legal and political conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for taking or not taking action.

Within six months after the publication of the initiative in accordance with Article 14(1), and after the public hearing referred to in Article 14(2), the Commission shall set out in a communication full details of its legal and political conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, and an exhaustive and clear statement of the reasons for taking or not taking action, in accordance with the principle of good administration.

Amendment    46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission and the group of organisers may inform the signatories on the response to the initiative in accordance with Article 17 (2) and (3).

3.  The Commission and the group of organisers shall inform the signatories on the response to the initiative in accordance with Article 17(2) and (3), where such data have been collected.

Amendment    47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a.  In the event of a successful citizens’ initiative, with due regard to Article 15(2) of this Regulation and if proposed in the communication, the Commission shall, within 12 months after the publication of the initiative, submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a proposal for a legal act in response to the initiative. For the purposes of this Article, special attention shall be paid to Article 296(2) TFEU and to Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Commission shall keep the group of organisers updated on its activities in relation to the initiative as well as on any further development of the initiative after its official communication on the ECI.

Amendment    48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 15a

 

Follow-up to successful citizens' initiatives by the European Parliament

 

After the 12 month period referred to in Article 15(2), the European Parliament shall assess the actions taken by the Commission in order to follow-up to its communication on the ECI In particular, it may hold a plenary debate on this issue, in accordance with its Rules of Procedure.

 

Such debates may be concluded by the adoption of a motion for resolution If the Commission does not submit a proposal for a legal act, the European Parliament may decide to exercise the right conferred on it under Article 225 TFEU.

Amendment    49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers shall provide, for the publication in the register, and as the case may be on their campaign website, information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative exceeding 500 euros per sponsor.

The group of organisers shall provide, for the publication in the register, and as the case may be on their campaign website, clear, accurate and comprehensive information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative exceeding 500 euros per sponsor. Sponsors and corresponding amounts shall be clearly identifiable.

 

The group of organisers shall also communicate the names of the organisations assisting them on a voluntary basis, where such support is not economically quantifiable.

Amendment    50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Commission shall be entitled to perform random checks on the information submitted in respect of the sources of support and funding, to assess the quality of the information provided and to request additional clarifications from the groups of organisers. Such checks shall aim to ensure transparency of funding and other support provided to groups of organisers and shall be carried out in an effective, impartial and proportionate manner.

 

Sources of support and funding shall mean any offering of financial means or credit offering, any offering in kind, the provision below market value of any goods, services (including loans and provision of personnel) or works, or any other transaction which provides an economic advantage, with the exception of support carried out on a voluntary basis by individuals.

Amendment    51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Commission shall ensure full transparency of funding and sponsorship information through quality checks, alerts and complaints system so as to ensure that funding and sponsorship information provided by ECI organisers are correct.

Amendment    52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 2 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

In order to support the organisation of citizens' initiatives annual appropriation shall be allocated in the Union's Budget.

Amendment    53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The Commission shall raise public awareness about the existence of the European citizens’ initiative through communication activities and information campaigns, thereby contributing to promoting the active participation of citizens in the political life of the Union.

1.  The Commission, the European Parliament, the Council and the Member States shall raise public awareness about the existence, goals and functioning of the European citizens’ initiative through communication activities, information and publicity campaigns In doing so, the Commission shall make use inter alia digital platforms, social media and online technologies to reach out and engage with citizens.

Amendment    54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purposes of communication and information activities regarding the initiative concerned and subject to consent by a signatory, his or her email address may be collected by a group of organisers or by the Commission.

For the purposes of communication and information activities regarding the initiative concerned and subject to explicit consent by a signatory, his or her email address may be collected by a group of organisers or by the Commission.

Amendment    55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  The Commission shall also actively communicate about the ECI and its use in connection with other actions designed to promote the involvement of citizens in the activities of the Union, as well as when promoting Union citizenship and citizens' rights and within the communication on the activities of the Europe for Citizens Programme.

Amendment    56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph -1 (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

-1.  In processing personal data pursuant to this Regulation, the group of organisers of a citizens’ initiative or, if applicable, the legal entity created by them, and the competent authorities of the Member State shall comply with Regulation (EU) No 2016/679.

Amendment    57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  The group of organisers or, if applicable, the legal entity created by them, shall ensure that personal data collected for the purposes of a citizens’ initiative are not used for any purpose other than to express support for that initiative.

Amendment    58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall periodically review the functioning of the European citizens' initiative and present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation no later than five years from the date of application of this Regulation, and every five years thereafter. The reports shall be made public.

The Commission shall periodically review the functioning of the European citizens' initiative and present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation no later than three years from the date of application of this Regulation, and every three years thereafter. The reports shall be made public.

Amendment    59

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The content of the initiative on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 1000 characters;

2.  The content of the initiative on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 1 200 characters without spaces; (adjusted mean per language);

Amendment    60

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – point 8 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Provided that the content of an Annex consists of less than 5000 characters (adjusted mean per language), the group of organisers can request the Commission to translate it into all official languages of the Union.


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (27.4.2018)

for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European citizens’ initiative

(COM(2017)0482 – C8‑0308/2017 – 2017/0220(COD))

Rapporteur for opinion: Angel Dzhambazki

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment    1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1)  The Treaty on European Union (TEU) reinforces citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing, inter alia, that every citizen of the Union has the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. The European citizens’ initiative is a Union instrument of participatory democracy which affords citizens of the Union the possibility of directly approaching the Commission with a request inviting it to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, similar to the right conferred on the European Parliament under Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and on the Council under Article 241 TFEU.

(1)  The Treaty on European Union (TEU) reinforces citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing, inter alia, that every citizen of the Union has the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. The European citizens’ initiative is a Union instrument of direct participatory democracy which affords citizens of the Union the possibility of directly approaching the Commission with a request inviting it to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, similar to the right conferred on the European Parliament under Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and on the Council under Article 241 TFEU.

Amendment    2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6)  To achieve those objectives, the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of this instrument. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations.

(6)  To achieve those objectives, the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be effective, clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of this instrument. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations.

Amendment    3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible and to provide support to citizens and organisers, the Commission should provide information and assistance to organisers and make available an online collaborative platform to provide a dedicated discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens’ initiative. To ensure proximity to citizens, Member States should establish one or more contact points in their respective territories to provide citizens with information and assistance regarding the European citizens’ initiative.

(13)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible and to provide support to citizens and organisers, the Commission should provide clear, accurate and comprehensive information as well legal and practical assistance to organisers and make publicly available an online collaborative platform to provide a dedicated discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens’ initiative. To ensure proximity to citizens, Member States should establish one or more contact points in their respective territories, accessible to people with disabilities, to provide citizens with information as well as legal and practical assistance regarding the European citizens’ initiative.

Amendment    4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, and taking into account that the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate, it is appropriate to partially register an initiative in cases where only part or parts of the initiative meet the requirements for registration under this Regulation. Initiatives should be partially registered where a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties and all the other registration requirements are met. Clarity and transparency should be ensured as regards the scope of the partial registration and potential signatories should be informed of the scope of the registration and of the fact that statements of support are collected only in relation to the scope of the registration of the initiative.

(16)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative effective and more accessible, and taking into account that the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate, it is appropriate to partially register an initiative in cases where only part or parts of the initiative meet the requirements for registration under this Regulation. Initiatives should be partially registered where a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties and all the other registration requirements are met. Clarity and transparency should be ensured as regards the scope of the partial registration and potential signatories should be informed of the scope of the registration and of the fact that statements of support are collected only in relation to the scope of the registration of the initiative.

Amendment    5

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a)  it has received the support of at least one million signatories from at least one quarter of the Member States.

(a)  it has received the support of at least one million signatories from at least five Member States.

Amendment    6

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  in at least one quarter of the Member States, the number of signatories is at least equal to the minimum number set out in Annex I, corresponding to the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750, at the time of registration of the initiative.

(b)  in at least five of the Member States, the number of signatories is at least equal to the minimum number set out in Annex I, corresponding to the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750, at the time of registration of the initiative.

Amendment    7

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The Commission shall, upon request, provide information and assistance about the European citizens’ initiative to citizens and groups of organisers.

1.  The Commission shall provide clear, accurate and comprehensive information and assistance about the European citizens’ initiative to citizens and groups of organisers.

Amendment    8

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The online collaborative platform shall be user-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission shall make available an online register (‘the register’) allowing groups of organisers to manage their initiative throughout the procedure. The register shall comprise a public website providing information on the European citizens’ initiative in general as well as on specific initiatives and their respective status.

3.  The Commission shall make publicly available an online register (‘the register’) allowing groups of organisers to manage their initiative throughout the procedure. The register shall comprise an easily and effectively accessible public website providing clear, accurate and comprehensive information on the European citizens’ initiative in general, and in particular details regarding every stage of the initiative, specifying what steps to take and the state of play of every initiative, with warnings when a deadline is approaching, as well as on specific initiatives and their respective status.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a.  Groups of organisers must be informed as soon as the translated version of their initiative is available, and if it contains any inaccuracies, the group of organisers shall rectify them and inform the Commission promptly.

Amendment    11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  After the Commission has registered an initiative in accordance with Article 6, it shall provide the translation of the content of that initiative into all the official languages of the Union for its publication in the register and its use for the collection of statements of support in accordance with this Regulation. A group of organisers may, in addition, provide translations into all the official languages of the Union of the Annex for its publication in the register and also, as the case may be, of the draft legal act referred to in Annex II and submitted in accordance with Article 6(2).

4.  After the Commission has registered an initiative in accordance with Article 6, it shall provide the translation of the content of that initiative into all the official languages of the Union for its publication in the register and its use for the collection of statements of support in accordance with this Regulation. A group of organisers may, in addition, provide translations into all the official languages of the Union of the Annex for its publication in the register and also of the draft legal act referred to in Annex II and submitted in accordance with Article 6(2).

Amendment    12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  Each Member State shall establish one or more contact points to provide information and assistance to groups of organisers in setting up a European citizens’ initiative.

6.  Each Member State shall establish one or more contact points, accessible to people with disabilities, and make them known, with a view to providing information, as well as legal and practical assistance, to groups of organisers in setting up a European citizens’ initiative.

Amendment    13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

6a.  The Member States shall encourage national, regional and local authorities to supply information on the European citizens’ initiative to their citizens.

Amendment    14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  An initiative shall be prepared and managed by a group of at least seven natural persons (the 'group of organisers'). Members of the European Parliament shall not be counted for the purpose of that minimum number.

1.  An initiative shall be prepared and managed by a group of at least five natural persons (the 'group of organisers'). Members of the European Parliament shall not be counted for the purpose of that minimum number.

Amendment    15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The members of the group of organisers shall be citizens of the Union, of the age to be entitled to vote in elections to the European Parliament and residents of at least seven different Member States.

2.  The members of the group of organisers shall be citizens of the Union, of the age to be entitled to vote in elections to the European Parliament and residents of at least five different Member States.

Amendment    16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  Prior to submission of an initiative, the organisers may request a preliminary express-review on the suitability of the initiative to be submitted.

Amendment    17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers shall submit the request for registration to the Commission through the register.

The group of organisers shall submit the request for registration to the Commission through the platform for registration.

Amendment    18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

If one or more of the requirements set out in points (a) to (e) are not met, the Commission shall refuse to register the initiative, without prejudice to paragraphs 4 and 5.

If one or more of the requirements set out in points (a) to (d) are not met, the Commission shall refuse to register the initiative, without prejudice to paragraphs 4 and 5.

Amendment    19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

If it comes to the conclusion that the initiative or parts of the initiative fall outside its remit, the Commission shall inform the group of organisers of its conclusion and of its reasons for reaching it.

Amendment    20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In that case, the group of organisers may either amend the initiative to take into account the Commission’s assessment to ensure that the initiative is in conformity with the requirement laid down in paragraph 3(c) or maintain or withdraw the initial initiative. The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of its choice within one month of the receipt of the Commission’s assessment giving the reasons thereof, and shall, as the case may be, transmit amendments to the information referred to in Annex II to replace the initial initiative.

In that case, the group of organisers may either amend the initiative to take into account the Commission’s information or even maintain or withdraw the initial initiative. The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of its choice within one month of the receipt of the Commission’s information giving the reasons thereof, and shall, as the case may be, transmit amendments to the information referred to in Annex II to replace the initial initiative.

Amendment    21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 3 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  partially register the initiative if a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties;

(b)  partially register the initiative if a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, whilst, where feasible, allowing a reasonable period for the adaptation of the remaining part of the proposal in order to bring it within the framework of the Commission’s powers;

Amendment    22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

8.  The Commission shall inform the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of the registration of an initiative.

8.  The Commission shall inform in a clear, thorough and detailed manner the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the national parliaments of the registration of an initiative.

Amendment    23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

All statements of support shall be collected within a period not exceeding 12 months from a date chosen by the group of organisers (the 'collection period'), without prejudice to Article 11(6). That date must be not later than three months from the registration of the initiative in accordance with Article 6.

All statements of support shall be collected within a period not exceeding 12 months from a date chosen by the group of organisers (the 'collection period'), without prejudice to Article 11(6). That date must be not later than six months from the registration of the initiative in accordance with Article 6.

Amendment    24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The Commission shall indicate the beginning and end of the collection period in the register.

2.  The Commission shall indicate the beginning and end of the collection period in the register. One month before the deadline for the collection of statements of support is due to expire, the Commission shall warn the group of organisers thereof.

Amendment    25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(4a)  Any collection of personal data for the purposes of an initiative within the remit of this Directive, shall fully comply with Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

Amendment    26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purpose of online collection of statements of support, the Commission shall set-up and operate, by 1 January 2020, a central online collection system, in accordance with Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017.

For the purpose of online collection of statements of support, the Commission shall set-up and operate, by 1 January 2020, a central online collection system, in accordance with Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017 and subject to Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

Amendment    27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The central online collection system shall be accessible for persons with disabilities.

The central online collection system shall be user-friendly and accessible for persons with disabilities.

Amendment    28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The data collected through the individual online collection system shall be stored in the territory of a Member State.

The data collected through the individual online collection system shall be stored in the territory of a Member State subject to Regulation (EU) 2016/679.

Amendment    29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  When the Commission receives a valid initiative in respect of which the statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, it shall publish without delay a notice to that effect in the register and transmit the initiative to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

1.  When the Commission receives a valid initiative in respect of which the statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, it shall publish without delay a notice to that effect in the register and transmit the initiative to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the national parliaments.

Amendment    30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Within five months after the publication of the initiative in accordance with Article 14(1), and after the public hearing referred to in Article 14(2), the Commission shall set out in a communication its legal and political conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for taking or not taking action.

Within five months after the publication of the initiative in accordance with Article 14(1), and after the public hearing referred to in Article 14(2), the Commission shall set out in a communication its legal and political conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for taking or not taking action. Such reasons shall be duly justified and explained in a clear, comprehensible and detailed manner. The Commission may request from the Court of Justice of the European Union an opinion on the legal aspects of the initiative, which shall be delivered without undue delay. Where the Commission does not intend to take action, it shall notify the group of organisers of the possibilities for submitting their initiative to the Committee on Petitions, thus allowing their work to continue.

Amendment    31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 15 a

 

Follow-up and Action

 

1.   Where an initiative has been registered fully and successfully, the Commission shall take appropriate legislative action, when:

 

(a)  all procedural requirements for registering the initiative, in accordance with this Regulation, have been duly fulfilled;

 

(b)   within 3 months following the publication of the registered initiative, no objection has been raised by Parliament or the Council;

 

(c)   the assessment conducted by the Commission has clearly identified need to address specific areas of Union law in accordance with the content of the registered initiative.

 

2.   The Commission shall take action within a maximum period of one year, following the publication of the registered initiative and forward any legislative action proposal to the Council and the Parliament.

Amendment    32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers shall provide, for the publication in the register, and as the case may be on their campaign website, information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative exceeding 500 euros per sponsor.

The group of organisers shall provide, for the publication in the register, and as the case may be on their campaign website, clear, accurate and comprehensive information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative exceeding 500 euros per sponsor.

Amendment    33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The Commission shall raise public awareness about the existence of the European citizens’ initiative through communication activities and information campaigns, thereby contributing to promoting the active participation of citizens in the political life of the Union.

1.  The Commission shall raise public awareness about the existence of the European citizens’ initiative through communication activities and information campaigns and shall also use digital platforms and technologies to reach out and engage community, thereby contributing to promoting the active participation of citizens in the political life of the Union, since targeted communication strategies, including social media, are critical for enhancing the effectiveness of the European Citizens’ Initiative and for ensuring transparency.

Amendment    34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  The Commission shall also increase the awareness campaigns on local, national and European level, especially among young people.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

European citizens’ initiative

References

COM(2017)0482 – C8-0308/2017 – 2017/0220(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

AFCO

2.10.2017

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

CULT

2.10.2017

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Angel Dzhambazki

10.10.2017

Date adopted

25.4.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

0

5

Members present for the final vote

Isabella Adinolfi, Dominique Bilde, Andrea Bocskor, Angel Dzhambazki, Jill Evans, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Petra Kammerevert, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Momchil Nekov, Yana Toom, Sabine Verheyen, Julie Ward, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Theodoros Zagorakis, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver, Krystyna Łybacka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Elena Gentile, Emma McClarkin, Martina Michels, Michel Reimon, Liliana Rodrigues, Remo Sernagiotto, Francis Zammit Dimech

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

20

+

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Emma McClarkin, Remo Sernagiotto

EFDD

Isabella Adinolfi

GUE/NGL

Martina Michels

PPE

Andrea Bocskor, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Sabine Verheyen, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Theodoros Zagorakis, Francis Zammit Dimech, Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski, Milan Zver

S&D

Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Elena Gentile, Petra Kammerevert, Krystyna Łybacka, Momchil Nekov, Liliana Rodrigues, Julie Ward

0

-

5

0

ALDE

María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Yana Toom

ENF

Dominique Bilde

Verts/ALE

Jill Evans, Michel Reimon

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


OPINION of the Committee on Petitions (16.5.2018)

for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European citizens’ initiative

(COM(2017)0482 – C8‑0308/2017 – 2017/0220(COD))

Rapporteur: Jarosław Wałęsa

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Commission proposal (COM(2017)482 – 2017/0220(COD)) on the revision of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on the European Citizens’ Initiative (hereinafter ‘ECI’) sets out a comprehensive review of the ECI legal framework with the main objective of making the ECI more accessible as a public participation tool for civic engagement in the Union. The Committee on Petitions fully supports the Commission’s endeavour to increase the provision of guidance, support and awareness-raising activities relating to the ECI to all Union citizens in order to fully realise the potential of the ECI instrument in fostering public debate and citizen participation at Union level. In particular, the PETI Rapporteur stresses the importance of the ECI public hearings at the European Parliament as a mechanism for dialogue and exchange of views between Union institutions and organisers of successful ECIs as a way of bringing the Union closer to its citizens. In this regard, it is particularly important to ensure a balanced and inclusive organisation of ECI public hearings. The European Parliament should therefore endeavour to foster an appropriate level of public debate on successful initiatives, including the possibility of a plenary debate on the initiative, which may be concluded by the adoption of a motion for resolution. The PETI Rapporteur also highlights the importance of establishing not only online support to citizens and ECI organisers, but also offline support and physical contact points for ECI information dissemination and citizen advisory services, including the provision of support in defining a compliant legal basis for an initiative under Union law. In view of the low number of successful ECIs under the existing Regulation, the PETI Rapporteur welcomes the Commission’s proposal to lengthen the time of assessing ECIs from three to five months and trusts that the Commission’s political and legislative follow-up to ECIs will thereby be rendered more proactive and transparent.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Petitions calls on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment    1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1)  The Treaty on European Union (TEU) reinforces citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing, inter alia, that every citizen of the Union has the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. The European citizens’ initiative is a Union instrument of participatory democracy which affords citizens of the Union the possibility of directly approaching the Commission with a request inviting it to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, similar to the right conferred on the European Parliament under Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and on the Council under Article 241 TFEU.

(1)  The Treaty on European Union (TEU) and in particular Articles 1, 2, 9, 10 and 11 thereof, reinforces citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing, inter alia, that every citizen of the Union has the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. The European citizens’ initiative is a Union instrument of participatory democracy which affords citizens of the Union the possibility of directly approaching the Commission with a request inviting it to submit a proposal for a new legal act or the abrogation of any existing or envisaged legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, beyond the right conferred on the European Parliament under Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and on the Council under Article 241 TFEU.

Justification

Article 296 TFEU gives enough room to interpret that a revision of the Treaties could be connected to a legal act. The Commission can initiate the revision procedure, according to article 48 TEU.At the same time, and taking into account the judgements of the Court of Justice, abrogation and revision should also fall within the scope of admissibility, and also when an initiative relates to envisaged legal acts, as those derived from international commercial treaties.

Amendment    2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a)  according to the Judgment of the General Court in Case T-754/1: Efler and Others v European Commission1a and in particular paragraphs 45 and 47 thereof, , the ECI aims at allowing the citizens of the Union to participate directly in the democratic life of the Union. Their active participation in the democratic process is further strengthened especially through the mechanism of ECI, that allows them to raise questions and present them to the Commission, and to request from the latter to submit a proposal for a Union legal act after having, as the case may be, presented the ECI at a public hearing organised at the Parliament, by stimulating a democratic debate without having to await the adoption of the legal act whose modification or withdrawal is ultimately sought.

 

_________________

 

1a ECLI:EU:T:2017:323.

Amendment    3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3b)  according to the same judgment, ECI proposals constitute an expression of the effective participation of citizens of the Union in the democratic life thereof and they do not undermine the institutional balance intended by the Treaties, even when they are dealing with ongoing legislative procedures.

Amendment    4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5)  This Regulation aims to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and supporters, in order to achieve the full potential of the European citizens’ initiative as a tool to foster debate and citizen participation at Union level, and to bring the Union closer to its citizens.

(5)  This Regulation aims to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and supporters, in order to strengthen the principle of democracy and encourage and empower all Union citizens to participate in the democratic functioning of the Union, by bringing the Union closer to its citizens.

Amendment    5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6)  To achieve those objectives, the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of this instrument. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations.

(6)  To achieve those objectives, the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be transparent, clear, simple, user-friendly including for persons with disabilities and proportionate to the nature of this instrument. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations and ensure that successful initiatives receive an appropriate follow up from the Commission.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7)  It is appropriate to set a minimum age for supporting an initiative. To achieve the full potential of the European citizens’ initiative as an instrument of participatory democracy and to foster citizen participation at Union level especially among young European citizens, that age should be set at 16 years.

(7)  It is appropriate to set a minimum age for supporting an initiative. To achieve the full potential of the European citizens’ initiative as an instrument of participatory democracy and to foster citizen participation at Union level and civic engagement in general, especially among young European citizens, that age should be set at 16 years. The decisive time for determining the ability of one person to support an initiative is that of expression of the support.

Amendment    7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8)  In accordance with Article 11(4) of the TEU an initiative 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 to implement the Treaties, is to be taken by not less than one million citizens of the Union who are nationals of a significant number of Member States.

(8)  In accordance with Article 11(4) of the TEU, Articles 24 and 298(1) TFEU, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and in particular Article 41 thereof, an initiative 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 to implement the Treaties, is to be taken by not less than one million citizens of the Union who are nationals of a significant number of Member States.

Justification

Reference to the principle of good administration provides that administrative action must be impartial, fair and handled within a reasonable time by the institutions and bodies of the Union and (Art. 41 § 2 under c) the obligation of the administration to give reasons for its decisions.

Amendment    8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9)  In order to ensure that an initiative is representative of a Union interest while ensuring that the instrument remains easy to use the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come should be set at one quarter of Member States.

(9)  In order to ensure that an initiative is representative of a Union interest while ensuring that the instrument remains easy to use the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come should be set at one quarter of Member States and the minimum number of signatories coming from each of those Member States should be degressively proportional and correspond to the number of Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750.

Justification

the text was moved from recital 10 for better reading of the text.

Amendment    9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10)  In order to ensure that an initiative is representative and to ensure similar conditions for citizens to support an initiative, it is also appropriate to establish the minimum number of signatories coming from each of those Member States. Those minimum numbers of signatories required in each Member State should be degressively proportional and correspond to the number of Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750.

(10)  In order to ensure that an initiative is representative and to ensure similar conditions for citizens to support an initiative, it is also appropriate to establish the minimum number of signatories coming from each of those Member States. Those minimum numbers of signatories required in each Member State should be degressively proportional and correspond to the number of Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by the total number of Members of the European Parliament at the time of registration of the initiative.

Amendment    10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a)  In view of the advisory, translation and awareness-raising activities (including the ‘ECI Day’) undertaken by the consultative institutions of the Union, especially the European Economic and Social Committee, the Commission will keep those institutions informed on newly registered initiatives and future awareness-raising campaigns relating to the ECI.

Justification

It is essential to stress that other institutions of the EU shared a burden on their own iniative covering a lacunae that was left by the immense logistical and administrative burden previous regime created. In that sense the EESC has really through its proprio motu practice earned a great role in the process, which should be applauded.

Amendment    11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible and to provide support to citizens and organisers, the Commission should provide information and assistance to organisers and make available an online collaborative platform to provide a dedicated discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens’ initiative. To ensure proximity to citizens, Member States should establish one or more contact points in their respective territories to provide citizens with information and assistance regarding the European citizens’ initiative.

(13)  In order to make the European citizens' initiative more accessible and to provide support to citizens and organisers, the Commission should provide information and assistance free of charge to organisers and make available an online collaborative platform to provide a dedicated discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens' initiative, that will serve also as a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices and to enable citizens to discuss proposed citizens' initiatives and to formulate new ones. To ensure proximity to citizens, Member States building upon the Europe Direct Information Centres should establish , in due time and in any case by the time this Regulation comes into force, ECI help desks in their respective territories to provide citizens with information and assistance and guidance regarding the submission of a European citizens’ initiative on technical issues related to the ECI, including how to promote the ECI at national and local level. An annual ECI conference at EU level should be organised on the ECI day with the aim of further strengthening dialogue and exchange of best practices between organisers, civil society and social partners and EU institutions and to assess the state of implementation and effectiveness of the ECI.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(13a)  In order to raise awareness and foster the debate concerning on-going initiatives as national level, where signatures are collected, it is important to involve both national and regional parliaments from an early stage and that the offices of the representations of the Commission and the European Parliament in the Member States put their facilities at the service of citizens' initiatives. At the Union level, the neutral role of the European Economic and Social Committee makes it suitable to play a role of facilitator and institutional mentor during the on-going citizens' initiatives.

Amendment    13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15)  In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to initiatives and to avoid a situation where signatures are collected for an initiative which does not comply with the conditions laid down by the Treaties and this Regulation, initiatives that comply with the conditions laid down in this Regulation should be registered by the Commission before collecting statements of support from citizens. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration.

(15)  In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to initiatives and to avoid a situation where signatures are collected for an initiative which does not comply with the conditions laid down by the Treaties and this Regulation, initiatives that comply with the conditions laid down in this Regulation should be registered by the Commission before collecting statements of support from citizens. In the exercise of its multiple duties in relation to the citizens' initiative, the Commission should establish a specialised unit to deal with the legal admissibility of initiatives.  The necessary resources should be ensured so that an objective assessment on admissibility is carried out independently of political considerations and in accordance with the general principles of good administration. This assessment should be fully accessible to the public.

Amendment    14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, and taking into account that the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate, it is appropriate to partially register an initiative in cases where only part or parts of the initiative meet the requirements for registration under this Regulation. Initiatives should be partially registered where a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties and all the other registration requirements are met. Clarity and transparency should be ensured as regards the scope of the partial registration and potential signatories should be informed of the scope of the registration and of the fact that statements of support are collected only in relation to the scope of the registration of the initiative.

(16)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, and taking into account that the procedures and conditions required for the European citizens’ initiative should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate, it is appropriate to partially register an initiative in cases where only part or parts of the initiative meet the requirements for registration under this Regulation. Initiatives should be partially registered where a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties and all the other registration requirements are met. Clarity and transparency should be ensured as regards the scope of the partial registration and potential signatories should be informed of the scope of the registration and of the fact that statements of support are collected only in relation to the scope of the registration of the initiative. The choice for a partial registration should not render void the Commission's obligation to fully justify its decision by giving reasons for choosing to partially register an initiative.

Amendment    15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17)  Statements of support for an initiative should be collected within a specific time limit. In order to ensure that an initiative remains relevant, whilst taking into account the complexity of collecting statements of support across the Union, that time limit should not be longer than 12 months from the date of the start of the collection period determined by the group of organisers.

(17)  Statements of support for an initiative should be collected within a specific time limit. In order to ensure that an initiative remains relevant, whilst taking into account the complexity of collecting statements of support across the Union, that time limit should not be longer than 18 months from the date of the start of the collection period determined by the group of organisers. If organisers decide not to use the central system for the online collection of statements of support provided by the Commission, the period should start only after Member States verify the conformity of an alternative online collection systems within the requirements of this regulation.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and citizens, the Commission should set-up and operate a central system for the online collection of statements of support. That system should be made available free of charge to groups of organisers and should comprise the necessary technical features allowing online collection including the hosting and software as well as accessibility features ensuring that citizens' with disabilities can provide support to the initiatives. That system should be set-up and maintained in accordance with Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/4626 .

(18)  In order to make the European citizens’ initiative more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and citizens, the Commission should set-up and operate a central system for the online collection of statements of support incorporating the relevant technical and security measures necessary to comply with the provisions of this Regulation. That system should be voluntary and made available free of charge to groups of organisers and should comprise the necessary technical features allowing online collection including the hosting and software as well as accessibility features. This ought to ensure that citizens' with disabilities will be facilitated to initiate, propose or provide support to the initiatives on an equal footing. That system should be set-up and maintained in accordance with Commission Decision(EU, Euratom) 2017/4626.

_________________

_________________

26 Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017 on the security of communication and information systems in the European Commission (OJ L 6, 11.1.2017, p. 40–51).

26 Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017 on the security of communication and information systems in the European Commission (OJ L 6, 11.1.2017, p. 40–51).

Amendment    17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20)  A group of organisers should have the possibility to set-up its own online collection systems for the collection of statements of support across the Union and to decide in which Member State the data collected for the initiative should be stored. The group of organisers should use a single individual online collection system for each initiative. Individual online collection systems set up and operated by a group of organisers should have adequate technical and security features in order to ensure that the data are securely collected, stored and transferred throughout the procedure. For that purpose, the Commission should set out detailed technical specifications for the individual online collection systems, in cooperation with the Member States. The Commission may seek advice of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) which assists the Union institutions in developing and implementing policies related to security of network and information systems.

(20)  A group of organisers should have the possibility to set-up its own online collection systems for the collection of statements of support across the Union and to decide in which Member State the data collected for the initiative should be stored. The group of organisers should use a single individual online collection system for each initiative. Individual online collection systems set up and operated by a group of organisers should have adequate technical and security features in order to ensure that the data are securely collected, stored and transferred throughout the procedure. For that purpose, the Commission should set out detailed technical specifications for the individual online collection systems, in cooperation with the Member States. The Commission may seek advice of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) which assists the Union institutions in developing and implementing policies related to security of network and information systems and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), which advises Union institutions and bodies on all matters relating to the processing of personal information. The group of organisers may also consult with ENISA and EDPS if they opt for setting up its own online collection systems.

Amendment    18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21)  It is appropriate for Member States to verify the conformity of the individual online collection systems set up by the group of organisers with the requirements of this Regulation and issue a document certifying such conformity before statements of support are collected. The certification of the individual online collection systems should be carried out by the competent national authority of the Member States in which the data collected through the individual online collection system is stored. Without prejudice to the powers of the national supervisory authorities under the General Data Protection Regulation, Member States should designate the competent national authority responsible for the certification of the systems. Member States should mutually recognise the certificates issued by their competent authorities.

(21)  It is appropriate for Member States to verify the conformity of the individual online collection systems set up by the group of organisers with the requirements of this Regulation and issue a document certifying such conformity before organisers initiate the 12 month period for collecting statements of support. The certification of the individual online collection systems should be carried out by the competent national authority of the Member States in which the data collected through the individual online collection system is stored. These actions should be carried out free of charge. Without prejudice to the powers of the national supervisory authorities under the General Data Protection Regulation, Member States should designate without delay  the competent national authority responsible for the certification of the systems. Member States should mutually recognise the certificates issued by their competent authorities without the introduction of additional checks.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(22a)  In order to encourage participation and public debate on the issues raised by initiatives, once the first six months of a collection period have passed, the group of organisers should have the right to present its initiative and, to that end, request that a first public hearing be held at Union level. The hearing should be organised by the European Parliament within three months of the request submitted by the group of organisers.

Justification

The aim of this first public hearing is to offer solid support to the group of organisers in order to make EU citizens more aware of the initiative and of the specific goals that the organisers are seeking to achieve.

Amendment    20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23)  In order to promote participation and public debate on the issues raised by the initiatives, where an initiative supported by the required number of signatories and fulfilling the other requirements of this Regulation is submitted to the Commission, the group of organisers should have the right to present that initiative at a public hearing at Union level. The public hearing should be co-organised by the Commission and the European Parliament within three months from the submission of the initiative and ensure a balanced representation of relevant public and private interests well as the representation at an appropriate level of the Commission. Other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union as well as interested stakeholders should have the opportunity to participate in the hearing.

(23)  In order to promote participation and public debate on the issues raised by the initiatives, where an initiative supported by the required number of signatories and fulfilling the other requirements of this Regulation is submitted to the Commission, the group of organisers should have the right to present that initiative at a public hearing at Union level. The European Parliament should organise the public hearing within three months from the submission of the initiative to the Commission. The European Parliament should ensure a balanced representation of the interests of relevant stakeholders, including civil society, social partners, and experts, as well as the representation at an appropriate level of the Commission and the Council. Other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union, in particular the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, as well as interested stakeholders should have the opportunity to participate in the hearing. The European Parliament should endeavour to foster an appropriate level of debate on successful initiatives by holding a plenary debate after the public hearing, and by taking a decision on the possibility to vote on a motion for a resolution.

Justification

See the PETI Opinion on the revision of Regulation (EU) 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative (PETI_AD(2017)606197) (PE 606.197v03-00). While the Parliament ought to endeavour to promote a public debate on initiatives which satisfy the conditions of the Regulation, creating a legal obligation on Parliament to follow a specific course of action on all ECIs may not be suitable in certain cases. The AM therefore reflects the optional nature of the possibility of following up on successful ECIs by holding a plenary debate and adopting a motion for a resolution, but would not legally bind the Parliament to follow such a specific course of action for each ECI.

Amendment    21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24)  To ensure the effective participation of citizens in the democratic life of the Union, the Commission should examine a valid initiative and respond to it. The Commission should therefore set out its legal and political conclusions as well as the action it intends to take within a period of five months from the receipt of the initiative. The Commission should explain in a clear, comprehensible and detailed manner the reasons for its intended action, and should likewise give its reasons if it does not intend to take any action.

(24)  To ensure the effective participation of citizens in the democratic life of the Union, the Commission after the public hearing and plenary debate in the European parliament and after proper dialogue with the ECI organisers, should examine a valid initiative and respond to it in due time taking into account that successful initiatives should have an appropriate follow up. The Commission should therefore set out its legal and political conclusions as well as the legislative or non-legislative actions it intends to take within a period of five months from the receipt of the initiative. The Commission justify adequately in a clear, comprehensible and detailed manner, substantiating the reasons for its intended action, and should likewise give in an even more developed way detailed and clear reasons if it does not intend to take any action, be it partial or complete refusal. In both cases a second public hearing should be organised to discuss the conclusions communicated by the Commission, under the same rule as the first.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25)  The support and funding for initiatives should be transparent. Therefore groups of organisers should provide updated information on the sources of support and funding for their initiatives between the date of registration and the date at which the initiative is submitted to the Commission. Entities, notably organisations which under the Treaties contribute to forming European political awareness and expressing the will of citizens of the Union, should be able to promote and provide support and funding to initiatives, provided that they do so in accordance with the procedures and conditions laid down by this Regulation and with full transparency.

(25)  The support and funding for initiatives should be transparent and accountable. Therefore groups of organisers should provide updated information on the sources of support and funding for their initiatives between the date of registration and the date at which the initiative is submitted to the Commission. Entities, notably organisations which under the Treaties contribute to forming European political awareness and expressing the will of citizens of the Union, should be able to promote and provide support and funding to initiatives, provided that they do so in accordance with the procedures and conditions laid down by this Regulation and with full transparency. The Commission should perform quality and random checks on the financial and funding sources provided by the ECI organisers. Citizens should also be able to trigger an alert in case of suspicions of wrongdoings. The sources of support and funding should also be publicly available and regularly updated together with the rest of the information on the ECI initiative published online.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 28

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(28)  [Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 200029 applies to the processing of personal data carried out by the Commission in application of this Regulation.]

deleted

_________________

 

29 [Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1–22)].

 

Justification

moved to a new recital 28 a new

Amendment    24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 28 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(28a)  Where the measures provided for in this Regulation entail the processing of personal data by the Commission or by organisers, that processing should be carried out in accordance with Union law on the protection of personal data, in particular Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a, Regulation (EU)2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council1b and Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council1c .

 

_________________

 

1a Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of theEuropean Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 8,12.1.2001, p. 1).

 

1b Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of theEuropean Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General DataProtection Regulation) (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).

 

1c Directive (EU) 2016/680 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA (OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 89).

Amendment    25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29)  In order to contribute to the promotion of active participation of citizens in the political life of the Union, the Commission and the organisers should be able to collect, in accordance with data protection rules, email addresses of signatories for the purpose of communication activities regarding an initiative, in particular for the purpose of providing information on the follow-up actions in response to an initiative. The collection of email addresses should be optional and subject to the consent of signatories. Email addresses should not be collected as part of the statements of support forms and potential signatories should be informed that their right to support an initiative is not conditional on giving their consent to collecting their email addresses.

(29)  In order to contribute to the promotion of active participation of citizens in the political life of the Union, the Commission and the organisers should be able to collect, in accordance with data protection rules, email addresses of signatories for the purpose of communication activities regarding an initiative, in particular for the purpose of providing information on the follow-up actions in response to an initiative. The collection of email addresses should be optional and subject to the explicit consent of signatories which should be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous pursuant to Article 7 of Regulation 2016/679. Email addresses should not be collected as part of the statements of support forms and potential signatories should be informed that their right to support an initiative is not conditional on giving their consent to collecting their email addresses. Signatories should be able to withdraw their explicit consent for the collection of their email addresses at any time before and after the European citizens' initiative has been closed in which case the Commission and the ECI organisers should immediately delete the email address from their database and stop communication with the signatories.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(29a)  In order to contribute to the promotion of active and equal participation of all citizens in the political life of the Union, the Commission and the organisers should ensure that their webpages and mobile applications are accessible for people with disabilities. While Directive (EU) 2016/2102 does not apply to websites and mobile applications of Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, for the purpose of the central online collection system, online register, or online collaborative platform and any webpages in relation to the European Citizens' Initiative that the Commission and organisers are responsible for should be accessible in a manner equivalent to the requirements of Directive (EU) 2016/2102. In particular, the Commission is encouraged to comply with the relevant European harmonised standards, providing compliance with the requirements perceivability, understandability, operability and robustness. The Commission should ensure compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), especially Articles 9 and 21, in order to foster access to information for persons with intellectual disabilities, alternatives in easy-to-read language should be provided to the greatest possible extent and proportionately.

Justification

This Amendment is needed to better reflect the rest of the text and the changes in the articles.

Amendment    27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(32)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Article 8 thereof.

(32)  This Regulation respects fundamental rights and observes the principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Amendment    28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1 a

 

Scope

 

A citizens' initiative may concern a proposal for a new legal act by the Commission, or the abrogation or revision of any existing or envisaged legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties;

Amendment    29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Every citizen of the Union who is at least 16 years of age has the right to support an initiative by signing a statement of support ('the signatory'), in accordance with this Regulation.

Every citizen of the Union who is at least 16 years of age at the time of expression of support, has the right to support an initiative by signing a statement of support ('the signatory'), in accordance with this Regulation.

Amendment    30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Citizens residing in Member States other than those of their nationality shall have the right to support an initiative either in their country of residence or in their country of origin.

Amendment    31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Member States and the Commission shall adopt all the necessary provisions to facilitate the exercise, by persons with disabilities, of their right to support a citizens' initiative.

Amendment    32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  in at least one quarter of the Member States, the number of signatories is at least equal to the minimum number set out in Annex I, corresponding to the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by 750, at the time of registration of the initiative.

(b)  in at least one quarter of the Member States, the number of signatories is at least equal to the minimum number set out in Annex I, corresponding to the number of the Members of the European Parliament elected in each Member State, multiplied by the total number of Members of the European Parliament, at the time of registration of the initiative.

 

(Update Annex I accordingly)

Amendment    33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  For the purpose of paragraph 1 a signatory shall be counted in its Member State of nationality.

2.  For the purpose of paragraph 1 a signatory shall be counted in its Member State of nationality irrespective of the place where the statement of support was signed by the signatory.

Justification

This AM is needed in order to clarify that EU citizens should be able to sign European citizens initiative irrespective of their place of residence.

Amendment    34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Information and assistance by the Commission and by Member States

Information and assistance by the Commission, other Union institutions and Member States

Justification

Including a reference to the Parliament and the EESC in the article requires updating the title

Amendment    35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The Commission shall, upon request, provide information and assistance about the European citizens’ initiative to citizens and groups of organisers.

1.  The Commission shall, upon request provide easily accessible, user-centric information and assistance about the European citizens’ initiative to citizens and groups of organisers, including assistance on the appropriate legal basis for an initiative under Union law, as well as other legal, material and technical guidance to facilitate the successful registration of an initiative. Such assistance shall be provided free of charge, and in collaboration with the Europe Direct Contact Centre and Europe Direct Information Centres as relevant.

Justification

See the PETI Opinion on the revision of Regulation (EU) 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative (PETI_AD(2017)606197) (PE 606.197v03-00), paragraph 17. See the Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2013/TN concerning the European Commission, in particular paragraphs 10-11.

Amendment    36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall make available an online collaborative platform providing citizens and groups of organisers with a discussion forum and information and advice about the European citizens’ initiative.

The Commission shall make available an online collaborative platform providing citizens and groups of organisers with a discussion forum and information and advisory services about the European citizens’ initiative. The Commission shall engage regularly with the ECI organisers through the collaborative platform. All advisory services shall be available in formats accessible to persons with disabilities, in a timely manner, free of charge.

Amendment    37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Within 3 months after the publication of this Regulation, the Commission shall issue an user guide in order to facilitate the understanding of the European citizens' initiative

Justification

Such an user guide is necessary to inform and provide first answers for the promoters of ECI. It shall be issued rapidly to encourage a prompt appropriation of the new ECI Regulation and allow a substantive evaluation in conformity of Article 24.

Amendment    38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission shall make available an online register ('the register') allowing groups of organisers to manage their initiative throughout the procedure. The register shall comprise a public website providing information on the European citizens’ initiative in general as well as on specific initiatives and their respective status.

3.  The Commission shall make available an online register ('the register') allowing groups of organisers to manage their initiative throughout the procedure. The register shall comprise a public website providing information on the European citizens’ initiative in general including on the ECI financing and funding sources as well as on specific initiatives and their respective status.

Amendment    39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4.  After the Commission has registered an initiative in accordance with Article 6, it shall provide the translation of the content of that initiative into all the official languages of the Union for its publication in the register and its use for the collection of statements of support in accordance with this Regulation. A group of organisers may, in addition, provide translations into all the official languages of the Union of the Annex for its publication in the register and also, as the case may be, of the draft legal act referred to in Annex II and submitted in accordance with Article 6(2).

4.  After the Commission has registered an initiative in accordance with Article 6, it shall provide the translation of the content of that initiative into all the official languages of the Union for its publication in the register and its use for the collection of statements of support in accordance with this Regulation. A group of organisers may, in addition, ask the Commission to translate into all the official languages of the Union of the Annex for its publication in the register and also, as the case may be, of the draft legal act referred to in Annex II and submitted in accordance with Article 6(2). If an Annex or an explanatory statement has less than 5 000 characters (adjusted mean per language), the group of organisers may also request the Commission to translate the Annex free of charge into all official languages of the Union.

Amendment    40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a.  The European Economic and Social Committee shall be entitled to offer institutional mentoring and facilitation to the group of organisers, as it sees more appropriate to raise awareness of initiatives, while respecting its remit and preserving a neutral role.

 

It shall be entitled to organise one or more hearings in its premises, since the registration of an initiative and through the signature collection phase, inviting the group of organisers to present their initiatives.Relevant independent experts may be also invited.

 

It shall be entitled to also contribute to the promotion of the citizens' initiative in general as a tool to foster democratic participation within the Union.

Amendment    41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  Each Member State shall establish one or more contact points to provide information and assistance to groups of organisers in setting up a European citizens’ initiative.

6.  Each Member State shall establish one or more digital and physical contact points to provide information and assistance to groups of organisers in setting up a European citizens’ initiative. Such assistance shall be provided free of charge to citizens, in collaboration with Europe Direct Contact Centre, the Europe Direct Information Centres, the European Parliament Information Offices, and all European Commission Representation Offices, as relevant. The assistance shall include legal, technical and organisational advice on preparing an initiative for registration as well as facilitation in communicating with the Commission. The assistance shall be available in formats accessible to persons with disabilities, free of charge.

Justification

The PETI Rapporteur is of the view that the Regulation should clarify the obligation of Member States to provide offline, physical contact points for ECI supporters and campaigners.

Amendment    42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  The group of organisers may be registered as a legal entity, namely an organisation with legal personality in one of the Member States in accordance with national law.

Amendment    43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers shall designate two of its members as, respectively, representative and substitute, who shall liaise between them and the institutions of the Union throughout the process and who shall be mandated to act on behalf of the group of organisers (the 'contact persons').

The group of organisers shall designate or elect two of its members as, respectively, representative and substitute, who shall liaise between them and the institutions of the Union throughout the process and who shall be mandated to act on behalf of the group of organisers (the 'contact persons').

Amendment    44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers may also designate a maximum of two other natural persons, chosen from among its members or otherwise, who are mandated to act on behalf of the contact persons for the purpose of liaising with the institutions of the Union throughout the procedure.

The group of organisers may also designate a maximum of three other natural persons, chosen from among its members or otherwise, who are mandated to act on behalf of the contact persons for the purpose of liaising with the institutions of the Union throughout the procedure.

Justification

In order to facilitate the handling of an ECI, it is opportune to authorize up to 3 substitutes.More might be uneasy to handle for the Commission and alter the continuity of an ECI and the necessary communication between the organizers and the Commission.

Amendment    45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5.  Without prejudice to the liability of the representative of the group of organisers as data controller under Article 82(2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the members of a group of organisers shall be jointly and severally liable, in accordance with applicable national law, for any damage caused in the organisation of an initiative by unlawful acts committed intentionally or with serious negligence.

5.  Without prejudice to the liability of the representative of the group of organisers as data controller under Article 82(2) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the members of a group of organisers or, if applicable the legal entity created by them, shall be jointly liable, in accordance with applicable national law, for any damage caused in the organisation of an initiative by unlawful acts committed intentionally or with serious negligence.

Amendment    46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Statements of support for an initiative may only be collected after the initiative has been registered by the Commission.

1.  Statements of support for an initiative may only be collected after the initiative has been registered by the Commission and where relevant after Member States have verified the conformity of the individual online collection systems set up by the group of organisers within the requirements of this Regulation.

Amendment    47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  A specialised unit within the Commission shall assess the legal admissibility of submitted citizens' initiatives, exclusively on the basis of the criteria set out in paragraph 3.

 

This specialised unit shall perform a legal compliance check independently of political considerations and make fully accessible to the public the considerations leading to its decisions.

Amendment    48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e)  the initiative is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union.

(e)  the initiative is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and rights enshrined in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Amendment    49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In that case, the group of organisers may either amend the initiative to take into account the Commission's assessment to ensure that the initiative is in conformity with the requirement laid down in paragraph 3(c) or maintain or withdraw the initial initiative. The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of its choice within one month of the receipt of the Commission's assessment giving the reasons thereof, and shall, as the case may be, transmit amendments to the information referred to in Annex II to replace the initial initiative.

In that case, the group of organisers may either amend the initiative to take into account the Commission's assessment to ensure that the initiative is in conformity with the requirement laid down in paragraph 3(c) or maintain or withdraw the initial initiative. The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of its choice within two months of the receipt of the Commission's assessment giving the reasons thereof, and shall, as the case may be, transmit amendments to the information referred to in Annex II to replace the initial initiative.

Amendment    50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 3 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b)  partially register the initiative if a substantial part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties;

(b)  partially register the initiative if a part of the initiative, including its main objectives, does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties;

Amendment    51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

An initiative that has been registered shall be made public in the register.

Any initiative that has been submitted to the Commission for registration, including every initiative that has been registered, shall be made public in the register and on the website of the European Citizens' Initiative.

Amendment    52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6.  The Commission shall register an initiative under a single registration number and inform the group of organisers thereof.

6.  The Commission shall register an initiative under a single registration decision and a single registration number and inform the group of organisers thereof.

Amendment    53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

7.  Where it refuses to register or only partially registers an initiative in accordance with paragraph 4, the Commission shall inform the group of organisers of the reasons for its decision and of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available to them.

7.  Where it refuses to register or only partially registers an initiative in accordance with paragraph 4, the Commission shall duly inform the group of organisers of the reasons for its decision and of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available to them. Decisions on refusing to register or to partially register an initiative shall be published on the website of the European citizens’ initiative and shall fully detail and justify the Commission's reasoning for such refusal, indicating the legal bases relied upon and enabling ECI organisers to contest them.

Justification

See the PETI Opinion on the revision of Regulation (EU) 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative (PETI_AD(2017)606197) (PE 606.197v03-00), paragraph 10. See the Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2013/TN concerning the European Commission, in particular paragraphs 14-16 on public scrutiny of Commission decisions.

Amendment    54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

7a.  Where organisers are informed of a refusal to register, fully or in part, they can amend their initiative and resubmit to the Commission within one month. Decisions made by organisers regarding the registration of their ECI shall also be made available in the register and on the website of the European Citizens' Initiative.

Amendment    55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

8.  The Commission shall inform the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of the registration of an initiative.

8.  The Commission shall inform, in a clear, comprehensive and detailed manner, the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the national parliaments of the registration of an initiative.

Amendment    56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

All statements of support shall be collected within a period not exceeding 12 months from a date chosen by the group of organisers (the 'collection period'), without prejudice to Article 11(6). That date must be not later than three months from the registration of the initiative in accordance with Article 6.

All statements of support shall be collected within a period not exceeding 18 months from a date chosen by the group of organisers (the 'collection period'), without prejudice to Article 11(6). That date must be not later than three months from the registration of the initiative in accordance with Article 6.

Amendment    57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where the group of organisers wishes to terminate the collection of statements of support before the end of 12 months after the beginning of the collection period, it shall inform the Commission of the date at which the collection period is to end.

Where the group of organisers wishes to terminate the collection of statements of support before the end of 18 months after the beginning of the collection period, it shall inform the Commission of the date at which the collection period is to end.

 

(This amendment applies throughout the whole text.)

Amendment    58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  The group of organisers, or, if applicable, the legal entity created by them in accordance with Article 5(2a) and (7) of this Regulation, shall be responsible for the collection of the statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens’ initiative which has been registered in accordance with Article 6.

Amendment    59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Commission and the competent authorities of Member States shall adopt all the necessary provisions so that Union citizens residing in a Member State other than that of their nationality shall have the possibility to choose whether their support to an initiative is counted either in their country of residence or in their country of origin. Competent authorities from the different Member States shall coordinate to ensure a proper allocation of the statements of support in their respective accounts.

Amendment    60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 7 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of the number of collected statements of support in each Member State at least every two months during the collection period and of the final number within three months of the end of the collection period for publication in the register.

The group of organisers shall inform the Commission of the number of collected statements of support in each Member State at least every three months during the collection period and of the final number within three months of the end of the collection period for publication in the register. The Commission should maintain regular communication with the ECI organisers during and after the campaign.

Amendment    61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purpose of online collection of statements of support, the Commission shall set-up and operate, by 1 January 2020, a central online collection system, in accordance with Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017.

For the purpose of online collection of statements of support, the Commission shall set-up and operate, by 1 January 2020, central online collection system, in accordance with Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017. The use of this system shall be voluntary and free of charge to all organisers.

Amendment    62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The central online collection system shall be accessible for persons with disabilities.

The central online collection system shall be open-source and shall be accessible for persons with disabilities.

Amendment    63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a.  The group of organisers using other certified online collection systems shall still have the possibility to use the servers operated by the Commission free of charge.

 

Where statements of support are collected online, the data obtained through the online collection system shall be stored in the territory of the European Union.

Amendment    64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers shall submit the statements of support to the competent authorities only where the minimum numbers of signatories laid down in Article 3 have been reached by the initiative.

deleted

Justification

The AM goes beyond the main objective of the proposal to simplify the current rules and will put unjustified barrier to organisers of ECI.

Amendment    65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Publication and public hearing

Publication and public hearings

Amendment    66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  When the Commission receives a valid initiative in respect of which the statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, it shall publish without delay a notice to that effect in the register and transmit the initiative to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

1.  When the Commission receives a valid initiative in respect of which the statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, it shall publish without delay a notice to that effect in the register and transmit the initiative to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, as well as to national parliaments.

Amendment    67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Within three months after the submission of the initiative, the group of organisers shall be given the opportunity to present the initiative at a public hearing.

Within three months after the submission of the initiative, the group of organisers shall be given the opportunity to present the initiative at a public hearing in the European Parliament, in the interest of generating a Union-wide public debate on the proposed initiative, inclusive of a diversity of stakeholders.

Justification

See the PETI Opinion on the revision of Regulation (EU) 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative (PETI_AD(2017)606197) (PE 606.197v03-00), paragraph 19. See the Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2013/TN concerning the European Commission, in particular paragraphs 17-22.

Amendment    68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

TThe Commission and the European Parliament shall co-organize the public hearing at the European Parliament. Representatives of the other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union, as well as interested stakeholders, shall be given the opportunity to participate in the hearing.

The European Parliament shall organise the public hearing at its premises. Representatives of the Commission and the Council, the European Economic Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, as well as other institutions and advisory bodies of the Union, representatives of civil society, social partners, and other interested stakeholders, including national parliaments, shall be given the opportunity to participate in the hearing. The hearing shall be web-streamed and publically available on the ECI website thereafter. Following the hearing, the European Parliament shall hold a plenary debate on the initiative and decide whether to adopt a motion for a resolution.

 

Within 12 months of the issuance of the Commission communication pursuant to Article 15(2), the ECI organisers shall be entitled to request a second public hearing at the European Parliament. The European Parliament shall organise the second public hearing within three months of the submission of the request.

Justification

See the PETI Opinion on the revision of Regulation (EU) 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative (PETI_AD(2017)606197) (PE 606.197v03-00), paragraph 19. See the Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2013/TN concerning the European Commission, in particular paragraphs 17-22.

Amendment    69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The hearing shall pursue the public interest. The exclusive objective of the hearing is to inform exhaustively about the content and aims of a initiative.

Amendment    70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The main purpose of the hearing shall be to provide, the group of organisers with a forum to present their initiativewith a detailed exposition of its purpose and to suggest concrete legislative goals.

Amendment    71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission and the European Parliament shall ensure a balanced representation of relevant public and private interests.

The European Parliament shall ensure a balanced representation of relevant stakeholders, including public and private interests, as well as the representation of institutions and advisory bodies of the Union, in order to encourage an inclusive public debate on the proposed initiative.

Justification

See the PETI Opinion on the revision of Regulation (EU) 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative (PETI_AD(2017)606197) (PE 606.197v03-00), paragraph 19. See the Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2013/TN concerning the European Commission, in particular paragraphs 17-22.

Amendment    72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3.  The Commission shall be represented in the hearing at an appropriate level.

3.  The Commission and Council shall be represented in the hearings at an appropriate level.

The presence of at least one member of the College of Commissioners shall be assured at the hearings.

Amendment    73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a.  The European Parliament may also develop appropriate forms of response to those citizens' initiatives, which have been successfully registered but do not meet the one million signatures, but nevertheless receive significant citizens' support.

Amendment    74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3b.  National and regional parliaments may also organise hearings on the citizens' initiatives, inviting where appropriate the organisers, with particular emphasis on Member States where a successful initiative has reached the minimum threshold of signatures.

Justification

Involving national parliaments into the debate over citizens' initiative is an effective way to bring the Union political debate closer to citizens.The debates in national and regional parliaments can be useful in turn for subsequent debates in the European Parliament, or for the Commission itself.

Amendment    75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  Within one month of the submission of the initiative, the Commission shall receive the group of organisers at an appropriate level to allow them to explain in detail the matters raised by the initiative.

1.  Within one month of the submission of a valid initiative in relation to which statements of support have been collected and certified in accordance with Articles 8 to 12, the Commission shall receive the group of organisers at an appropriate level to allow them to explain in detail the matters raised by the initiative.

Amendment    76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Within five months after the publication of the initiative in accordance with Article 14(1), and after the public hearing referred to in Article 14(2), the Commission shall set out in a communication its legal and political conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for taking or not taking action.

Within five months after the publication of the initiative in accordance with Article 14(1), and after the public hearing referred to in Article 14(2), the Commission shall set out in a communication its legal and political conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for taking or not taking action. The Commission shall give detailed and clear reasons and a full justification for a decision not to take any action explaining its conclusions to the public in a detailed and transparent manner, in accordance with the principle of good administration.

Amendment    77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a.  Where the conclusions in the communication of the Commission referred to in Article 15(2) and the recommendation of the European Parliament differ, the European Parliament may exercise the right conferred on the European Parliament under Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Amendment    78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a.  The Commission should keep the organisers updated on its activities in relation to the initiative and on the evolution of the initiative after the Commission has delivered on its decision.

Amendment    79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The group of organisers shall provide, for the publication in the register, and as the case may be on their campaign website, information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative exceeding 500 euros per sponsor.

The group of organisers shall provide, for the publication in the register, and as the case may be on their campaign website, information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative exceeding 100 euros per sponsor.

Amendment    80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a  An annual appropriation in the Union's Budget shall be allocated to support the organisation of citizens' initiatives.

 

An established group of organisers may apply for financial coverage of expenses related to legal advice and support prior to the submission or after the conclusion of the signature collection.

 

The group of organisers of registered initiatives shall be entitled to a grant, aimed at covering expenses related to communication and logistical aspects of their signature collection campaign.

Amendment    81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2b.  The Commission shall ensure full transparency of funding and sponsorship information through quality checks, alerts and complaints system to ensure that funding and sponsorship information provided by ECI organisers are correct.

Amendment    82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  The Commission shall raise public awareness about the existence of the European citizens’ initiative through communication activities and information campaigns, thereby contributing to promoting the active participation of citizens in the political life of the Union.

1.  The Commission, with the support of the European Parliament and other Union Institutions, and Member States shall raise public awareness about the existence of the European citizens’ initiative through communication activities and ad hoc information campaigns, grass-root initiatives and the use of social and digital media thereby contributing to promoting the active participation of citizens in the political life of the Union and promoting awareness of how citizens can influence and shape the European Union through a European citizens’ initiative. The Commission may grant financial support to entities that contribute to the overall promotion of the citizens' initiative as a democratic participation instrument, provide free technical support and legal advice to the organisers.

Amendment    83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purposes of communication and information activities regarding the initiative concerned and subject to consent by a signatory, his or her email address may be collected by a group of organisers or by the Commission.

For the purposes of communication and information activities regarding the initiative concerned and subject to explicit consent by a signatory, his or her email address may be collected by a group of organisers or by the Commission.

Amendment    84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph -1 (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

-1.  In processing personal data pursuant to this Regulation, the group of organisers of a citizens’ initiative or, if applicable, the legal entity created by them, and the competent authorities of the Member State shall comply with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 .

Amendment    85

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a.  The organisers or, if applicable, the legal entity created by them, shall ensure that personal data collected for a given citizen’s initiative are not used for any purpose other than their indicated support for that initiative.

Amendment    86

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1.  For the purpose of Article 11, each Member State shall designate one or more competent authorities responsible for issuing the certificate referred to in Article 11(3).

1.  For the purpose of Article 11, each Member State shall designate without delay one or more competent authorities responsible for issuing the certificate referred to in Article 11(3).

Amendment    87

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  For the purpose of Article 12, each Member State shall designate one competent authority responsible for coordinating the process of verification of statements of support and for issuing the certificates referred to in Article 12(5).

2.  For the purpose of Article 12, each Member State shall designate without delay one competent authority responsible for coordinating the process of verification of statements of support and for issuing the certificates referred to in Article 12(5).

Amendment    88

Proposal for a regulation

Article 24 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall periodically review the functioning of the European citizens' initiative and present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation no later than five years from the date of application of this Regulation, and every five years thereafter. The reports shall be made public.

The Commission shall periodically review the functioning of the European citizens' initiative and present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation no later than three years from the date of application of this Regulation, and every three years thereafter. The reports shall be made public.

Amendment    89

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2.  The content of the initiative on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 1000 characters;

2.  The content of the initiative on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 1 200 characters without spaces; (adjusted mean per language);

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Title

European citizens’ initiative

References

COM(2017)0482 – C8-0308/2017 – 2017/0220(COD)

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

AFCO

2.10.2017

 

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

PETI

2.10.2017

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Jarosław Wałęsa

22.11.2017

Discussed in committee

22.1.2018

 

 

 

Date adopted

16.5.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

29

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Margrete Auken, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Alberto Cirio, Andrea Cozzolino, Pál Csáky, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Rikke-Louise Karlsson, Jude Kirton-Darling, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Lukas Mandl, Roberta Metsola, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, Marlene Mizzi, Gabriele Preuß, Virginie Rozière, Jarosław Wałęsa, Cecilia Wikström

Substitutes present for the final vote

Demetris Papadakis, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Ángela Vallina, Rainer Wieland

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Asim Ademov, Rosa D’Amato, Laura Ferrara, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Marco Valli, Julie Ward

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

29

+

ALDE

EFDD

GUE/NGL

NI

PPE

 

S&D

VERTS/ALE

 

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Cecilia Wikström

Rosa D'Amato, Laura Ferrara, Marco Valli

Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Ángela Vallina

Rikke-Louise Karlsson

Asim Ademov, Alberto Cirio, Pál Csáky, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Lukas Mandl, Roberta Metsola, Jarosław Wałęsa, Rainer Wieland

Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Andrea Cozzolino, Jude Kirton-Darling, Marlene Mizzi, Demetris Papadakis, Gabriele Preuß, Virginie Rozière, Julie Ward

Margrete Auken, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, Josep-Maria Terricabras

0

-

0

0

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

European citizens’ initiative

References

COM(2017)0482 – C8-0308/2017 – 2017/0220(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

13.9.2017

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

AFCO

2.10.2017

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

CULT

2.10.2017

LIBE

2.10.2017

PETI

2.10.2017

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

LIBE

19.10.2017

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

György Schöpflin

28.9.2017

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

28.9.2017

28.11.2017

22.1.2018

21.2.2018

 

21.3.2018

25.4.2018

24.5.2018

 

Date adopted

20.6.2018

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

5

1

Members present for the final vote

Gerolf Annemans, Mercedes Bresso, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Richard Corbett, Pascal Durand, Esteban González Pons, Danuta Maria Hübner, Diane James, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Alain Lamassoure, Jo Leinen, Morten Messerschmidt, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Markus Pieper, Paulo Rangel, György Schöpflin, Pedro Silva Pereira, Barbara Spinelli, Claudia Țapardel, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski

Substitutes present for the final vote

Charles Goerens, Jérôme Lavrilleux

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Kostadinka Kuneva, Ivan Štefanec

Date tabled

27.6.2018


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

19

+

ALDE

Charles Goerens, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz

ECR

Morten Messerschmidt

ENF

Gerolf Annemans

NI

Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski

PPE

Esteban González Pons, Danuta Maria Hübner, Alain Lamassoure, Jérôme Lavrilleux, Markus Pieper, Paulo Rangel, György Schöpflin, Ivan Štefanec

S&D

Mercedes Bresso, Richard Corbett, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Jo Leinen, Pedro Silva Pereira, Claudia Țapardel

5

-

GUE/NGL

Kostadinka Kuneva, Barbara Spinelli

NI

Diane James

VERTS/ALE

Pascal Durand, Josep-Maria Terricabras

1

0

EFDD

Fabio Massimo Castaldo

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 3 July 2018Legal notice