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 Full text 
Wednesday, 12 December 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions 2017 (debate)

  Pál Csáky, deputising for the rapporteur. – Mr President, the petitions we receive in the Committee on Petitions (PETI) help us to better assess the impact that EU legislation has on people’s daily lives and to find loopholes and problems with the implementation of EU legislation. By acting as a bridge between citizens and institutions, the Committee on Petitions can contribute to both the creation of better legislation and helping people in their everyday lives.

The number of petitions received per year is rather constant, even if it is important to note that the petitions received during 2017 was the lowest number during this mandate.

However, the new system put in place via the PETI portal, which allows citizens to support existing petitions has increased greatly this past year – up from 6 000 users who supported a petition in 2016 to 15 000 users who supported a petition in 2017. This is a very positive trend which means that citizens can show they have support for an issue without having to file a petition by themselves.

It was therefore an important milestone when the petitions network was launched in March 2017. It serves as a useful tool for better follow-up on petitions in parliamentary and legislative work, increases the visibility for the petitions received within the House, and intensifies cooperation with colleagues in the other committees.

The main area of concern of the petitions received during 2017 were environmental matters such as such as water and waste management, and preservation. This demonstrates the need for proper environmental legislation and implementation. Other areas of concern were fundamental rights, especially voting rights and children’s rights, the free movement of persons, and social affairs such as working conditions. The Committee on Petitions had discussions on petitions covering these subjects in various committee meetings during 2017.

The work in the Committee on Petitions is very rewarding, due to the direct contact with citizens. It’s a constant reminder of the results of the legislation that we are working on, and for whom we write the laws. It’s both interesting and demanding to meet the various petitioners who come to the committee and talk about their problems. We cannot always solve the citizens’ problems but we can at least raise awareness of their concerns.

We can all always do better and together we should strive to improve our citizens’ support even further. The chair of the Committee on Petitions, Ms Cecilia Wikström, looks forward to continuing this work together with her colleagues until the end of the mandate.

Finally, the chair of the Committee is very pleased with the work done in the Committee on Petitions and the results achieved together. She would like to thank all the colleagues and the Secretariat of the Committee on Petitions for the good cooperation and work done during 2017.

Last updated: 16 May 2019Legal notice