Procedure : 2010/0074(COD)
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Document selected : A7-0350/2010

Texts tabled :

A7-0350/2010

Debates :

PV 15/12/2010 - 6
CRE 15/12/2010 - 6

Votes :

PV 15/12/2010 - 9.5
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2010)0480

REPORT     ***I
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3 December 2010
PE 445.836v03-00 A7-0350/2010

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

(COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD))

Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Rapporteurs: Zita Gurmai and Alain Lamassoure

Rapporteurs for the opinion (*): Gerald Häfner and Diana Wallis,

Committee on Petitions

(*) Associated Committees – Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Petitions
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

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

(COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2010)0119),

–   having regard to Article 11(4) of the Treaty on European Union,

–   having regard to Article 294(2) and the first paragraph of Article 24 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0089/2010),

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

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 14 July 2010(1),

–   having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 10 June 2010(2),

–   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Petitions, the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A7-0350/2010),

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

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

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

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The Treaty on European Union reinforces the citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing inter alia that every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union and that not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.

(1) The Treaty on European Union reinforces the citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing inter alia that every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union by way of a European citizens' initiative. That procedure affords citizens the possibility of directly approaching the Commission, conferring on them a right of initiative similar to that exercised by the European Parliament and the Council.

Justification

It is superfluous to repeat Treaty provisions in a recital. The necessary references to the Treaties are already made in the citations. In the last sentence the place of the initiative in the overall framework of the European construction is referred to.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that the European Parliament and the Council should adopt the provisions for the procedures and conditions required for such a citizens' initiative.

deleted

Justification

It is useless to repeat the Treaty provision in a recital. The legal base is already referred to in the first citation of the Regulation.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) These procedures and conditions should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of the citizens' initiative.

(3) These procedures and conditions should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of the citizens' initiative, so as to encourage participation by citizens and to make the Union more accessible. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) It is important for efficient information and publicity campaigns concerning citizens' initiatives to be organised, in order to raise citizens' awareness, to provide accurate information on this new instrument , to promote civil dialogue and to build a genuine European public space; in this context, communication activities and information campaigns have an important role to play. Therefore, the Commission should consider using the existing programmes which promote mobility and active citizenship as well as new forms of communication, such as social networking, which promote public debate. Moreover, the Commission and the European Parliament, through their respective representations and offices in the Member States, should upon request provide citizens with information and informal advice about citizens' initiatives, in particular as regards the registration criteria and the values and competencies of the Union as enshrined in the European Treaties. A user's guide to the citizens' initiatives should be prepared in every official language of the Union and should be available online.

Justification

In order to avoid raising false expectations and misunderstanding on the nature and the scope of the ECI information campaigns become crucial. The amendment aims to improve the citizens awareness and accurate information on this new instrument.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3b) The European Commission representations and the European Parliament's information offices in the Member States, together with the Commission's information networks, should play a permanent role in the provision to citizens of all necessary information regarding the citizens´ initiative.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) It is necessary to establish the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. In order to ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest, this number should be set at one third of Member States.

(5) It is necessary to establish a minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. This threshold should ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest but the requirements should not be too cumbersome. It therefore should be set at one fifth of the Member States.

Justification

A lower threshold should be found where the Union interest can still be represented but the requirements are not too cumbersome.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(6) For that purpose, it is also appropriate to establish the minimum number of citizens coming from each of those Member States. In order to ensure similar conditions for citizens to support a citizens' initiative, these minimum numbers should be degressively proportional to the size of each Member State. For the purpose of clarity they should be set out for each Member State in an Annex to the present Regulation.

(6) For that purpose, it is also appropriate to establish the minimum number of citizens coming from each of those Member States. In order to ensure similar conditions for citizens to support a citizens' initiative, these minimum numbers should be degressively proportional as provided for in Article 14(2) TEU with regard to the number of Members of the European Parliament per Member State.

 

To this end, the minimum number required in each Member State should be equal to the number, multiplied by a factor of 750, of Members of the European Parliament elected in that State.

 

For the purpose of clarity these minimum numbers should be set out in an Annex to the present Regulation. The Commission should be empowered to amend this annex when the composition of the European Parliament is modified.

Justification

The distribution of seats in the European Parliament will be altered on a regular basis in accordance with a formula respecting in full the principle of degressive proportionality.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7a) A minimum organised structure is needed in order to successfully carry through a citizens' initiative. This should take the form of a citizens' committee, composed of natural persons (organisers) coming from a number of different Member States, in order to encourage the emergence of European-wide issues and to foster reflection on those issues. For the sake of transparency and smooth and efficient communication, the citizens' committee should designate representatives to perform a liaison function between the committee and the institutions of the Union throughout the procedure.

Justification

The citizens' initiative is conceived in order to give the opportunity to citizens to participate in the democratic life of the Union. It should only be open to natural persons who establish a citizens' committee.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7b) It must be ensured that all signatories and organisers, irrespective of sex, racial or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, have equal opportunities to participate in a citizens´ initiative and that the principles of non-discrimination are complied with. Information about citizens´ initiatives should be accessible and easy to understand for everyone.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens; proposals that are abusive or devoid of seriousness should not be registered and the Commission should reject the registration of proposals which would be manifestly against the values of the Union. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration.

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives and to avoid a situation in which signatures are collected for a proposal which does not fall within the scope of this Regulation, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens. Proposals that are not citizens' initiatives within the meaning of this Regulation should not be registered. Registration is an administrative procedure aimed at selecting those initiatives that fall within the scope of this Regulation; therefore any refusal of registration should be based only on legal grounds and not, on any account, on grounds of political expediency. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration, and should therefore be obliged to inform the organisers of an initiative of the reasons for any refusal to register that initiative and of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available to them. It should also be made clear by the Commission that registration and the collection of the required number of statements of support will not necessarily result in the Commission adopting a proposal for a legal act and that the registration of an initiative does not constitute a formal decision on competence issues.

Justification

The amendment justifies the abolition of the "admissibility check": the Commission should only verify if a certain initiative is a citizens' initiative pursuant to the Regulation. If it is so, the initiative should be registered and the organisers shouldn't be prevented from collecting signatures. The second part addresses some issues which emerge due to the abolition of the "admissibility check". In order to be able to prevent using the initiative for provoking decisions by the Commission on competence issues, it should be explained to organisers that the registration means simply that the initiative in the Commission's view is a European citizens' initiative. It can not be understood as a formal decision on competence issues.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The organiser of a proposed citizens' initiative should be responsible for the collection of the necessary statements of support from citizens.

(9) Once a proposal is registered as a citizens' initiative, statements of support from citizens may be collected by the organisers.

Justification

Reinforces the position that the registration is only aimed at deciding whether a European citizens' initiative is on the table or not. If it is so, organisers do not have to comply with any other requirements (admissibility, etc.) but they are free to exercise their right under the Treaty, namely to collect signatures in favour of an initiative.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) It is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected in paper form as well as online. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person can be identified and that the data are securely stored. For this purpose, the Commission should be required to set out detailed technical specifications for online collection systems.

(10) In order to put modern technology to good use as a tool of participatory democracy, it is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected online as well as in paper form. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person signs only once and that the data are securely collected and stored. The detailed technical specifications should be worked out at an expert level and be regularly adapted to technical developments; the power to adopt detailed technical specifications for online collection systems should therefore be delegated to the Commission.

 

The requirements in respect of those technical specifications should not, however, present unjustifiable obstacles for organisers wishing to use online collection systems.

Justification

This amendment is aimed at giving the reasons for the provisions and justifies the use of delegated acts.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(10a) The statements of support should be collected in a way that is citizen-friendly and which incorporates the necessary safeguards for data protection. At the same time, it should not impose an excessive burden on the organisers.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) It is appropriate that the Commission should take a decision on the admissibility of proposed initiatives at a sufficiently early stage. The organiser should therefore request such a decision after it has collected 300.000 statements of support for the proposed initiative from signatories coming from at least three Member States.

deleted

Justification

The admissibility check is abolished.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The Commission should, within a period of two months after receiving a request from the organiser, adopt a decision on its admissibility. A proposed citizens' initiative should be considered admissible if it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission and concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.

deleted

Justification

The admissibility check is abolished.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories and provided it is considered admissible, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

(15) In the absence of a competent Union electoral authority, it is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks, which may be based on random sampling, and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

Justification

It should be made clear that Member States check the signatures even if it is a European citizens' initiative, because there is no competent Union electoral authority that could do that exercise.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Organisers should ensure that all the relevant conditions set out in this Regulation are met prior to submitting a citizens' initiative to the Commission.

deleted

Justification

It is superfluous to mention in a recital that the obligations set out by a Regulation should be met in order to reach the desired legal effect.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16a) It is of the utmost importance that organisers of a citizen's initiative provide a declaration of any financial means used to support and promote the initiative, in order to ensure full transparency.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) The Commission should examine a citizens' initiative and set out its conclusions and the actions it envisages to take in response to it, within a period of four months.

(17) The Commission should examine a citizens' initiative and set out its legal and political conclusions separately; it should also set out the actions it envisages to take in response to it. In order to demonstrate that a citizens' initiative supported by at least one million Union citizens and its possible follow-up is carefully examined, the Commission should explain in a clear, comprehensible and detailed manner the reasons for its intended action, and should likewise give reasons if it does not envisage taking any action. As citizens should have the guarantee that a successful initiative will be followed up appropriately, the Commission should organise a public hearing jointly with the European Parliament, if appropriate together with other institutions and bodies of the Union. The Commission as the addressee of an initiative should be represented at the level of Commissioner or at least Director General.

Justification

The Commissions' reaction to a move by European citizens should be both legally and politically justified. Furthermore, this should be demonstrated by a reasoning showing that the citizens' voice is heard and the possible action to be taken is seriously and thoroughly thought-out.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data is fully applicable to the processing of personal data carried out in application of this Regulation. In this respect, it is appropriate to clarify that the organiser of a citizens' initiative and the competent authorities of the Member States are the data controllers within the meaning of Directive 95/46/EC and to specify the maximum period within which the personal data collected for the purposes of a citizens' initiative may be retained. In their capacity as data controllers, organisers need to take all the appropriate measures to comply with the obligations imposed by Directive 95/46/EC, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities and the provision of information and the rights of data subject to access to his/her personal data as well as the correction and erasure of his/her personal data.

(18) Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data is fully applicable to the processing of personal data carried out in application of this Regulation. In this respect, for the sake of legal certainty, it is appropriate to clarify that the organisers of a citizens' initiative and the competent authorities of the Member States are the data controllers within the meaning of Directive 95/46/EC and to specify the maximum period within which the personal data collected for the purposes of a citizens' initiative may be retained. In their capacity as data controllers, organisers need to take all the appropriate measures to comply with the obligations imposed by Directive 95/46/EC, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities and the provision of information and the rights of data subjects to have access to their personal data as well as to procure the correction and erasure of their personal data.

Justification

Amendment aimed to give reason for the enacting term. Linguistic changes in order to use gender neutral language.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) The Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for the purpose of amending the Annexes to this Regulation.

(21) With a view to the possible need in the future to amend or supplement certain non-essential elements in the provisions of this Regulation or its annexes, the Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Justification

Amendment that reflects the change in the enacting terms and justifies the use of delegated acts.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23) The Commission should report on the implementation of this Regulation five years after its entry into force.

deleted

Justification

It is superfluous to simply repeat a part of the enacting terms in a recital.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. "Citizens’ initiative" means an initiative, submitted to the Commission in accordance with the present Regulation, inviting the 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, which has received the support of at least one million eligible signatories coming from at least one third of all Member States;

1. "Citizens’ initiative" means an initiative, submitted to the Commission in accordance with the present Regulation, inviting the 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, which has received the support of at least one million eligible signatories coming from at least one fifth of all Member States;

Justification

In order to facilitate the launching of an initiative, to allow for a simpler and less cumbersome procedure, it is appropriate to set a lower threshold.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. "Organiser" means a natural or legal person or organisation responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission.

3. "Organisers" means natural persons forming a citizens' committee responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission.

 

Organisations that, in accordance with the Treaty, contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union may directly support a citizens' initiative, provided that they do so with full transparency.

 

(This amendment, namely to change "organiser" to "organisers", applies throughout the text. Adopting it will necessitate corresponding changes throughout.)

Justification

A genuine citizens' initiative should, per definitionem, be a tool of participatory democracy which is open for citizens of the Union and not for legal persons. Therefore the organisers should only be citizens (natural persons). The organisers should form a citizens' committee in order to be able to launch an initiative.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Requirements for the organiser and for signatories

Requirements for organisers and for signatories

Justification

A citizens' initiative should be launched by a citizens' committee made up of natural persons who are citizens of the Union. Therefore this title has to be adjusted accordingly.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where the organiser is a natural person, that person shall be a citizen of the Union and be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

1. Organisers shall be citizens of the Union and be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

Where the organiser is a legal person or an organisation it shall be established in a Member State. Organisations which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law shall have representatives that have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and assume liability.

 

Justification

The use of plural is justified by Article 3 paragraph 1a (new). The deletion is necessary because organisers should only be natural persons.

Amendment   27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1a (new) - subparagraphs 1 and 2 (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Organisers shall form a citizens' committee of at least seven persons who are residents of at least seven Member States.

 

The organisers shall designate one representative and one substitute, who shall perform a liaison function between the citizens' committee and the institutions of the European Union throughout the procedure and who shall be mandated to speak and act on behalf of the citizens' committee.

Justification

In order to facilitate the emergence of real European-wide issues, the reflection on those issues and the collection of signatures throughout the Union, the initiative should be proposed by a defined number of citizens who should set up a citizens' committee. The committee should be able to speak with one voice, hence the obligation to designate a contact person and a substitute.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 a (new) – subparagraph 3 (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

If the organisers are members of national parliaments or members of the European Parliament, they shall not be counted for the purposes of reaching the minimum number required to form a citizens' committee.

Justification

It is important to give a strong message to citizens that this instrument is conceived for them and to encourage them to use it and participate. Parliamentarians have other ways to propose legislation and create a debate at the European level.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens of the Union and shall be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens of the Union and shall be of the age laid down in each Member State, taking as a reference elections to the European Parliament.

Justification

In order to foster the participation of young European citizens in shaping the Union's future and to encourage wider participation in the Union's democratic life, it is appropriate to set a lower age limit than the age to be entitled to vote in most Member States and than the age limit for the members of a citizens' committee.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative, the organiser shall be required to register it with the Commission, providing the information set out in Annex II, in particular on the subject-matter and objectives as well as on the sources of funding and support for the proposed citizens' initiative.

1. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative, the organisers shall be required to register it with the Commission, providing the information set out in Annex II, in particular on the subject-matter and objectives of the proposed citizens' initiative.

 

The organisers shall provide, for the register defined in the third subparagraph and where appropriate on their website, regularly-updated information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative.

This information shall be provided in one of the official languages of the Union, in an online register made available for that purpose by the Commission (hereafter "the register").

This information shall be provided in one or more official languages of the Union, in an online register made available for that purpose by the Commission (hereafter "the register"). Information in an official language other the language(s) in which information was originally provided may be submitted subsequently for entry in the register.

 

The translation of the initiative into other official languages of the Union shall be the responsibility of the organisers.

Justification

In practice the initiative should be translated because the citizens' committee is made up of citizens coming from different countries, and the signatures are to be collected in at least one fifth of the Member States.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Except in the cases foreseen in paragraphs 3 and 4, the Commission shall register without delay the proposed initiative under a unique registration number and send a confirmation to the organiser.

2. If it is established that the proposed initiative qualifies as a citizens' initiative pursuant to this Regulation, the Commission shall register it under a unique registration number and send a confirmation to the organisers.

Justification

The registration should only be refused in cases when the move in question is not a citizens' initiative. Those cases are defined by the Treaties and this regulation.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Proposed citizens' initiatives which can be reasonably regarded as improper because they are abusive or devoid of seriousness will not be registered.

3. The Commission shall register a proposed initiative within two months from its receipt provided that the following conditions are fulfilled:

 

(a) the citizens' committee has been formed and the contact persons have been designated;

 

(b) there are no manifest, significant inconsistencies between the linguistic versions of the title, subject-matter and objectives of the proposed initiative;

 

(c) the initiative does not manifestly fall outside the scope of the Commission’s power under the Treaties to submit a proposal for the requested legal act;

 

(d) the proposed initiative is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious;

 

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

Justification

The Commission proposal separates the question of registration and admissibility. In the rapporteurs' view if a certain move by citizens fulfils all the criteria set out by the treaty and the regulation for a citizens' initiative, the organisers' right to collect signatures can not be denied. In that case there is no need to further examine "admissibility". On the other hand, if it doesn't fulfil those criteria, then it is not a citizens' initiative but something else (petition, letter, complaint, etc.) and in that case, for the sake of legal certainty, it should be made clear from the beginning that collecting signatures is a waste of time. The Regulation therefore should contain the criteria laid down in this amendment in order to make it possible to assess right in the beginning whether a citizens' initiative is on the table or not. If any of the above criteria is not fulfilled, the Commission can automatically deny registration, because the proposed move is not a citizens' initiative; thus the Commission wouldn't formally give a decision on competence issues: it would simply decide on an administrative level whether it is a citizens' initiative or not. The Commission should have a reasonable deadline for the decision on the registration of an initiative, because some serious initiatives could require a thorough evaluation of the issue.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3a. The Commission shall reject the registration if the conditions laid down in paragraph 3 are not met.

 

The Commission shall take any measures it considers necessary to reassure organisers that its decision on the registration fully respects the letter and the spirit of the Treaties, without prejudice to its subsequent decision on the substance of the matter.

 

Where it refuses to register an initiative, the Commission shall inform the organisers of the reasons for such refusal and of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available to them.

Justification

The registration of an initiative should only be refused if it is not a citizens' initiative pursuant to this Regulation or if this can not be assessed, because there are serious contradictions in the translations prepared by the organisers.

The Commission should decide on the registration on strict legal grounds; however, that decision should not bind its hands as to its ulterior decision on the substance of the matter.

As a part of good administration, organisers should have feedback from the Commission which would allow them to adjust the initiative in order to be appropriate for registration. The organisers should also have information on the modalities on how to challenge the Commission's decision if they deem it necessary.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Commission shall reject the registration of proposed citizens' initiatives which are manifestly against the values of the Union.

deleted

Justification

See the other justifications for amendments to Article 4.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. At any time before the submission of statements of support in accordance with Article 9, the organisers may withdraw a registered initiative. If an initiative is withdrawn, an indication to that effect shall be entered in the register.

Justification

The citizens' committee should remain free to withdraw an initiative when it considers that it is useless to continue the collection of signatures or it simply does not intend to continue its activity for any reasons. However, this opportunity should not be granted after the submission of the statements of support, because Member States spend taxpayers' money on verifying signatures.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a. All registered initiatives shall be given a reference number.

Justification

This will keep citizens up to date on the status of various citizens' initiatives.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Only statements of support forms which comply with the model set out in annex III may be used for this purpose. The organiser shall complete the forms as indicated in annex III prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories. The information given in the forms shall correspond to the information contained in the register.

Only registered language versions of statements of support forms which comply with the model set out in annex III may be used for this purpose. The organisers shall complete the forms as indicated in Annex III prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories. The information given in the forms shall correspond to the information contained in the register.

Justification

Pursuant to Annex III signatories should provide the following information: name, address of permanent residence, date and place of birth, nationality, date of signature. Only registered language versions of the form should be used for collecting signatures, because otherwise, in case of an incorrect translation, it could not be assured that the signatures are collected for the same initiative.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. All statements of support shall be collected after the date of registration of the proposed initiative and within a period that shall not exceed 12 months.

4. All statements of support shall be collected after the date of registration of the proposed initiative and within a period that shall not exceed 12 months.

 

At the end of that period, the register shall indicate that the period has expired and, where appropriate, that the Commission has ascertained that the necessary statements of support have not been submitted.

Justification

The time limit for the collection of signatures shall be respected. If the necessary signatures are not collected within the time limit, the initiative is not successful; therefore it should be deleted from the register which contains only ongoing initiatives.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories, the organiser shall ensure that the online collection system used for that purpose complies with the provisions of paragraph 4. The organiser may, at any time, ask the relevant competent authority of the Member State in which the data collected is or will be stored, to certify that the online collection system complies with those provisions. The organiser shall, in any case, request that certification prior to submitting statements of support for verification in accordance with Article 9.

2. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories, the organisers shall ensure that the online collection system used for that purpose complies with the provisions of paragraph 4. The organisers may, at any time, ask the relevant competent authority of the Member State in which the data collected is or will be stored, to certify that the online collection system complies with those provisions. The organisers shall, in any case, request that certification prior to starting the collection of statements of support.

 

The organiser shall make a copy of the certificate issued in that regard publicly available on the website used for the online collection system.

 

Within six months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall make available open-source software incorporating some of the technical and security features necessary for compliance with the provisions of this Regulation regarding the online collection systems. and ensure the maintenance and further development of that open-source software. The software and the relevant support services shall be made available to the organisers free of charge.

 

The Commission shall inform the European Parliament of the state of progress in the creation of the open-source software no later than three months after the entry into force of this Regulation.

Justification

The online collection of signatures should be facilitated by the Commission by making available an open-source software. It is more appropriate to request the certificate for online collection systems prior, and not after, the collection of signatures. Moreover, this certificate should be made public on the website so that citizens know that they can trust the system.

Amendment   40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

b. the identity of the person can be verified;

b. the fact that each person submits only one statement can be verified;

Justification

The identity of a person is not needed for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of statements of support. It is sufficient to check that the person is eligible to sign and signed only once. The fact that a certain person can sign only once should be verified in the case of online signatures as well.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

c. the data provided online is securely stored, in order to ensure, inter alia, that it may not be modified or used for any other purpose than its indicated support of the given citizens' initiative and to protect personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction or accidental loss, alteration or unauthorized disclosure or access.

c. the data provided online is securely collected and stored, in order to ensure, inter alia, that it may not be modified or used for any other purpose than its indicated support of the given citizens' initiative and to protect personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction or accidental loss, alteration or unauthorized disclosure or access.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

d. the system can generate individual statements of support in a form complying with the model set out in Annex III, in order to allow for the control by the Member States, in accordance with Article 9(2).

d. the system can generate statements of support in a form complying with the model set out in Annex III, in order to allow for the control by the Member States, in accordance with Article 9(2).

Justification

The online statement of support (see Annex III) could also be in a form of a list.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. Within 12 months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt technical specifications for the implementation of paragraph 4, in accordance with the regulatory procedure laid down in Article 19(2).

5. Within the 12 months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall undertake in conjunction with the European Data Protection Supervisor an evaluation enabling it to adopt technical specifications for the implementation of paragraph 4, in accordance with the regulatory procedure laid down in Article 19(2). That evaluation shall be forwarded to the European Parliament, together with the proposals.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one third of Member States.

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one fifth of Member States.

Justification

In order to facilitate the launching of an initiative, to allow for a simpler and less cumbersome procedure, it is appropriate to set a lower threshold.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In one third of Member States, signatories shall comprise at least the minimum number of citizens set out in Annex I.

2. In at least one fifth of Member States the minimum number of valid statements of support submitted to verification shall at least be equal to the number, multiplied by a factor of 750, of the Members of the European Parliament to be elected in that Member State at the time of the registration of citizens' initiative. The relevant minimum numbers are listed in Annex I.

 

The Commission shall adopt, by means of delegated acts, in accordance with Article 16 and subject to the conditions of Articles 17 and 18, appropriate adjustments to Annex I when the composition of the European Parliament is modified.

Justification

In order to facilitate the launching of an initiative, to allow for a simpler and less cumbersome procedure, it is appropriate to set a lower threshold.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Signatories shall be considered as coming from the Member State which issued the identification document indicated in their statement of support.

3. Signatories shall be considered as coming from the Member State where they have their permanent residence. For the purposes of paragraph 1, Union citizens who have permanent residence in a third country shall be considered to come from the Member State of which they are nationals.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 8Decision on the admissibility of a proposed citizens’ initiative

deleted

1. After having collected 300.000 statements of support in accordance with Article 5 from signatories coming from at least three Member States, the organiser shall submit to the Commission a request for a decision on the admissibility of the proposed citizens' initiative. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex V.

 

2. The Commission shall, within a period of two months from the receipt of the request referred to in paragraph 1, take a decision on admissibility. The proposed citizens' initiative shall be considered admissible if it satisfies the following conditions:

 

a. it concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties; and

 

b. it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission to make a proposal.

 

3. The decision referred to in paragraph 2 shall be notified to the organiser of the proposed citizens' initiative and shall be made public.

 

Justification

See the justifications for amendments to Article 4.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, and provided that the Commission has decided that a proposed citizens' initiative is admissible in accordance with Article 8, the organiser shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, the organisers shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organisers shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

Justification

See the justifications for amendments to Article 4.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The organiser shall submit statements of support to the Member State that issued the identification document indicated therein.

The organisers shall submit statements of support to the Member State where the signatories have their permanent residence or, in the case of signatories having their permanent residence in a third country, to the Member State of which they are nationals.

Justification

The indication of identity documents should not be required from signatories throughout Europe, because in some countries that could have a dissuasive effect. The address of the permanent residence should however be indicated and that should be the criterion to decide where the signatures come from. In case of persons residing in third countries, the criterion of nationality should apply.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The competent authorities shall, within a period that shall not exceed three months, verify the statements of support provided on the basis of appropriate checks, and deliver to the organiser a certificate in accordance with the model set out in Annex VII, certifying the number of valid statements of support for that Member State.

2. The competent authorities shall, within a period that shall not exceed three months, verify the statements of support provided on the basis of appropriate checks, and deliver to the organiser a certificate in accordance with the model set out in Annex VII, certifying the number of valid statements of support for that Member State.

 

The authentication of signatures shall not be required.

Justification

The identity of a person is not needed for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of statements of support. It is sufficient to check that the person is eligible to sign and signed only once.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

After having obtained the certificates provided for in Article 9(2), and provided that all relevant procedures and conditions set out in this Regulation have been complied with, the organiser may submit the citizens’ initiative to the Commission.

After having obtained the certificates provided for in Article 9(2), and provided that all relevant procedures and conditions set out in this Regulation have been complied with, the organisers may submit the citizens’ initiative to the Commission, accompanied by information regarding any support and funding received for the initiative. That information shall be published in the Commission's register.

 

The amount of support and funding received from any source in excess of which information is to be provided shall be identical to Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding1.

 

__________________________________

1 OJ L 297, 15.11.2003, p. 1.

Justification

The citizens' committee should ensure full transparency as to the funds and support of the initiative. It would not however be realistic and would put too much administrative burden on organisers to give detailed information on every single donation coming from natural persons, regardless of the amount. The Commission should therefore be able to determine the amount by delegated act.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where the Commission receives a citizens’ initiative in accordance with Article 10 it shall:

1. Where the Commission receives a citizens’ initiative in accordance with Article 10 it shall:

a. publish the citizens' initiative without delay on its website;

a. publish the citizens' initiative without delay on its website;

 

ab. receive the organisers at an appropriate level to allow them to explain in detail the matters raised by the initiative

 

ac. organise a public hearing on the matter raised by the initiative, jointly with the European Parliament if appropriate together with other institutions and bodies of the Union, at which the Commission shall be represented at an appropriate level;

b. examine the citizens' initiative and, within 4 months, set out in a communication its conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for doing so

b. within three months, set out in a communication that is also available in the register its final legal and political conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for taking that action or not doing so.

Justification

The Commission should arrive at legal and political conclusions on the initiative. The communication should contain both types of conclusions. The change in the deadline aims to reflect the achievements of the new framework agreement. See also the justification to recital 17.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The communication referred to in paragraph 1(b) shall be notified to the organiser of the citizens' initiative as well as to the European Parliament and the Council and shall be made public.

2. The communication referred to in paragraph 1(b) shall be notified to the organisers as well as to the European Parliament and the Council and shall be made public.

Justification

See the justifications for amendments to Article 3.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 3

 

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The organiser shall destroy all statements of support received for a given citizens' initiative and any copies thereof at the latest one month after submitting that initiative to the Commission in accordance with Article 10 or 18 months after the date of registration of a proposed citizens' initiative, whichever is the earlier.

Unless the proceedings are the subject of litigation, the organiser shall destroy all statements of support received for a given citizens' initiative and any copies thereof at the latest two months after the publication of the Commission communication referred to in point (b) of Article 11(1). In the event of litigation, they shall be destroyed one month after the conclusion of the litigation. Save where the competent authorities of Member States have not yet concluded their verification of statements of support, they shall also be destroyed if a proposed citizens' initiative has not been submitted to the Commission within 18 months after the date of its registration.

Justification

The regulation should take into account the possibility that these documents could be needed in a possible litigation.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 4

 

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The competent authority shall destroy all statements of support and copies thereof that it has received for the purpose of carrying out the verification in accordance with Article 9(2), at the latest one month after issuing the certificate referred to therein.

The competent authority shall destroy all statements of support and copies thereof that it has received for the purpose of carrying out the verification in accordance with Article 9(2), at the latest two months after issuing the certificate referred to therein. In the event of litigation, they shall be destroyed one month after the conclusion of the litigation.

Justification

See the previous justification.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1 – introductory wording

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall ensure that organisers resident or established on their territory shall be liable under their civil or criminal law for infringements of this Regulation and in particular for:

Member States shall ensure that organisers resident on their territory shall be liable under their civil or criminal law for infringements of this Regulation and in particular for:

Justification

Only natural persons can be organisers.

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The European Parliament and the Council may object to the delegated act within a period of two months from the date of notification. At the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council this period shall be extended by one month.

1. The European Parliament and the Council may object to the delegated act within a period of two months from the date of notification. At the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council this period shall be extended by two months.

Justification

In order to be in line with the horizontal approach followed by the EP, the deadline should be longer than proposed by the Commission.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The delegated act may be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force before the expiry of that period if the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission of their intention not to raise objections.

The delegated act shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force before the expiry of that period if the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission of their intention not to raise objections.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. For the purpose of the implementation of Article 6(5), the Commission shall be assisted by a committee.

1. For the purpose of the implementation of Article 6(5), the Commission shall be assisted by a committee possessing appropriate technical knowledge.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall inform the other Member States thereof.

The Commission shall inform the other Member States and the European Parliament thereof.

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 20a

 

Assistance

 

1. The Commission shall draw up a comprehensive, user-friendly guide on the citizens' initiative and shall keep it up to date.

 

2. The Commission shall provide a help desk in order to support organisers and to enter into a dialogue from an early stage of the procedure.

 

The Commission shall, upon request, inform the organisers of current or intended legislative proposals on matters raised by the initiative and of other registered citizens' initiatives that wholly or partly concern the same matter.

Justification

For the sake of the success of this new democratic tool, it is important that citizens are well informed about the procedure to be followed. The Commission should therefore provide a user friendly guide on the initiative and should set up a help desk which would be a natural reference point to organisers if they have questions or if they wish to clarify a certain issue with the EU institution responsible for the registration of the initiative. Especially, the Commission should help the organisers with information on current or intended legislative proposals, in order to avoid wasting energy on a matter that is already took up by the Commission. The information on other registered initiatives concerning the same matter could enhance the European dimension of initiatives.

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Five years after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation.

Three years after the entry into force of this Regulation, and every three years thereafter, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation, with special emphasis on online collection systems and the application of transparency requirements concerning support and funding for initiatives, together, if appropriate, with a legislative proposal for amendment of this Regulation.

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 22

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall enter into force on the first day of the month following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

It shall start to apply six months after its entry into force.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II

Text proposed by the Commission

Required information for registering a proposed citizens’ initiative

The following information shall be provided in order to register a proposed citizens’ initiative on the Commission's register:

1.          The title of proposed citizens’ initiative in no more than 100 characters;

2.          The subject-matter, in no more than 200 characters;

3.          The description of the objectives of the proposal on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 500 characters;

4.          The legal base of the Treaties which would allow the Commission to act;

5.          The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative;

7.          All sources of funding and support for the proposed initiative at the time of registration.

Organisers may provide more detailed information on the subject, objectives and background to the proposed citizens' initiative in an annex. They may also, if they wish, submit a draft legislative text.

Amendment by the Parliament

Required information for a proposed citizens’ initiative

The following information shall be provided for the Commission's register:

1.          The title of the proposed citizens’ initiative in no more than 100 characters;

2.          The subject-matter, in no more than 200 characters;

3.          The description of the objectives of the proposal on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 500 characters;

4.          The Treaty provision considered by the organisers to be relevant to the proposed action;

5.          The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organisers and the contact persons;

7.          All sources of support and funding for the proposed initiative at the time of registration.

Organisers may provide more detailed information on the subject, objectives, and background to the proposed citizens' initiative in an annex. They may also, if they wish, submit a draft legislative text.

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms. The title and the heading should be changed because Article 4 amends substantially the nature and procedure of the registration. Thus the title can be misleading, because more elements are required for registration than listed in the annex, e.g. the initiative is not against the values of the Union, etc. Moreover, the grounds for refusing the registration are listed in Article 4. The Annex shouldn't add to those conditions.

Amendment    65

Proposal for a regulation

Annex III

Text proposed by the Commission

Statement of support form

Box 1: (to be pre-completed by the organiser)

1.            Commission registration number*:

2.            Date of registration*:

3.            Web address of the proposed citizens' initiative on the Commission register*:

 

Box 2: (to be pre-completed by the organiser)

1.            Title of proposed citizens’ initiative*: (maximum 100 characters)

2.            Subject-matter*: (the subject should be as clear as possible) (maximum 200 character)

3.            Description of the main objectives of the proposed citizens' initiative*: (maximum 500 characters)

4.            Name and address of organiser*:

5.            Website of the proposed citizens' initiative:

 

Box 3: (to be completed by signatory)

1.            Name of signatory:             

  First name*:………………………Family name*:

2.            Address:

  Street:

  Postcode:  City*:

  Country*:

3.            E-mail address:

4.            Date and place of birth*:   

  Date of birth:  Place and country:

5.            Nationality*:

6.            Personal identification number*:  

  Type of identification number/identity document*:  

  National identity card:   Passport:   Social security:   

  Member State, which issued the identification number/identity document*:

7.            I hereby certify that the information provided in this form is correct and that I have only supported this  proposed citizens' initiative once*.  

  Date and signature of the signatory*¨: ………..

 

*: mandatory fields   

¨: signature not required when form is submitted electronically

Amendment by the Parliament

Statement of support form

Box 1: (to be pre-completed by the organisers)

1.            Commission registration number:

2.            Date of registration:

3.            Web address of the proposed citizens' initiative on the Commission register:

 

Box 2: (to be pre-completed by the organisers)

1.            Title of the proposed citizens’ initiative: (maximum 100 characters)

2.            Subject-matter: (the subject should be as clear as possible) (maximum 200 character)

3.            Description of the main objectives of the proposed citizens' initiative*: (maximum 500 characters)

4.            Name and address of the organisers:

4a. Name and address of the contact persons:

5.            Website of the proposed citizens' initiative*:

 

Box 3: (to be completed by signatories)

Name

Address of permanent residence

Date and place of birth

Nationality

Date of signature

Signature¨

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signatories may only support a given proposed citizens’ initiative once!

______

* If any.

¨: signature not required when form is submitted electronically

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms. The form should contain several rows for the collection of signatures, because that is how signatures are usually collected in practice.

Amendment    66

Proposal for a regulation

Annex III – box 3 – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. Personal identification number *:

deleted

Type of identification number/identity document*:

 

National identity card: Passport: Social security:

 

Member State, which issued the identification number/identity document*:

 

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Annex V

Text proposed by the Commission

Form for the request of a decision on the admissibility of a proposed citizens’ initiative

1.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

2.          Commission registration number*:

3.          Date of registration*:

4.          Number of statements of support received*:

5.          Number of signatories per Member States*:

 

BE

BG

CZ

DK

DE

EE

IE

EL

ES

FR

IT

CY

LV

LT

LU

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HU

MT

NL

AT

PL

PT

RO

SI

SK

FI

SE

UK

TOTAL

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.          I hereby declare that the information provided in this form is correct.

Date and signature of the organiser*:

*: mandatory fields   

Amendment by the Parliament

deleted

Justification

Article 8 is deleted.

Amendment    68

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VI

Text proposed by the Commission

Form for the submission of statements of support to the Member States’ competent authorities

1.          Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative*:

2.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

3.          Commission registration number*:

4.          Date of registration*:

5.          Date of request for a decision on admissibility*:

6.          Number of signatories coming from [name of MS]*:

7.          Annexes*:

(Include all statements of support from signatories having specified a personal identification number issued by the same Member State.  If applicable, include the relevant certificate(s) certifying that the conformity of the online collection system with Regulation xxxx/xxxx)

8.          Date and signature of the organiser*:

*: mandatory fields

Amendment by the Parliament

Form for the submission of statements of support to the Member States’ competent authorities

1.          Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the contact persons*:

2.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

3.          Commission registration number*:

4.          Date of registration*:

5.          deleted

6.          Number of signatories coming from [name of MS]*:

7.          Annexes*:

(deletion)

(If applicable, include the relevant certificate(s) certifying that the conformity of the online collection system with Regulation xxxx/xxxx)

8.          Date and signature of the organisers*:

*: mandatory fields

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms.

Amendment    69

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VIII

Text proposed by the Commission

Form for the submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission

1.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

2.          Commission registration number*:

3.          Date of registration*:

4.          Number of eligible statements of support received*: (must be over 1 million)

5.          Number of signatories certified by Member States*:

 

BE

BG

CZ

DK

DE

EE

IE

EL

ES

FR

IT

CY

LV

LT

LU

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HU

MT

NL

AT

PL

PT

RO

SI

SK

FI

SE

UK

TOTAL

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.          Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative.

7.          I hereby declare that the information provided in this form is correct.

Date and signature of the

organiser*:

8.          Annexes*: Include all certificates

*: mandatory fields

Amendment by the Parliament

Form for the submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission

1.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

2.          Commission registration number*:

3.          Date of registration*:

4.          Number of eligible statements of support received*: (must be over 1 million)

5.          Number of signatories certified by Member States*:

 

BE

BG

CZ

DK

DE

EE

IE

EL

ES

FR

IT

CY

LV

LT

LU

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HU

MT

NL

AT

PL

PT

RO

SI

SK

FI

SE

UK

TOTAL

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.          Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the contact persons.

7.           We, hereby declare that the information provided in this form is correct.

Date and signature of the contact persons*:

8.          Annexes*: Include all certificates

*: mandatory fields

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms.

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VIII – point 6 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

6a. All sources of funding and support for the initiative, including the amount of financial support at the time of submission.

(1)

Not yet published in the Official Journal.

(2)

OJ C 267, 1.10.2010, p. 57.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The European Citizens' Initiative will be a powerful agenda-setting instrument. It was introduced in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe and then in the Lisbon Treaty, with the aim of empowering citizens with the same political initiative powers that the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament already enjoy.

It is in particular meant to provide citizens with a means to be heard by enabling them to refer some issues of interest to the European institutions. These may include difficulties that they face in their daily lives which they do not feel receive enough attention or support from trade unions, political institutions or any other regular interlocutor of the institutions. It will indeed establish a direct link between the citizens and the institutions, thus bridging the gap between them and ensuring that the EU institutions will address the concrete problems which are of importance to them.

The other aim of the European Citizens' Initiative is to foster greater cross-border debates within the EU. This is precisely why your rapporteurs have made the suggestion that the organisers of a European Citizens' Initiative should gather into a citizens' committee composed of persons coming from different Member States. This will ensure that the issues which arise are truly European, all the while having the added value of helping the collection of signatures from the very beginning.

The European Parliament will be able to contribute to the achievement of these goals by making use of all the means in its power to support the Citizens' Initiatives of its choice, notably through the organisation of public hearings or the adoption of resolutions.

The Citizens' Initiative will only succeed if its regulation is citizen-friendly and does not create cumbersome obligations for and frustration among the organisers. In this frame of mind, your rapporteurs have worked to make this instrument easier to use and to guarantee that citizens will not be asked to sign Initiatives which might not be admissible.

They have also borne in mind the fact that, as with every right, the Citizens' Initiative comes with the need to comply with certain requirements; administrative ones, but also respect for the fundamental values of the EU among others. These ensure its liability and thus its efficiency, both of which will be the key to its success.

Hence, it is crucial to ensure that the process is in line with the EU data protection requirements and that it is fully transparent, from the start until the end. Indeed, every organisation, association, or even political party, will have the possibility to support the European Citizens' Initiatives of their choice as long as there is a full transparency regarding their support so that the signatories will know who is behind an initiative before they choose to support it or not.

In order to avoid disappointment and frustration (that might be the direct consequence of the high expectations that surround the European Citizen' Initiative), your rapporteurs would also like to underline that not all successful Initiatives will end up with the Commission putting forward a legislative proposition. Indeed, the Commission's monopoly of legislative initiative prevails and, in the end, it will be the one deciding on the follow-up to be given to successful Citizens' Initiatives. Of course, this does not prevent the other EU institutions from voicing their opinion for or against any given matter.

Last but not least, they would also like to stress that the European Citizens' Initiative is a new instrument of participatory democracy on a continental scale. Therefore, the present regulation may not be flawless and practice may present European decision-makers with new challenges. This is the reason why they asked the Commission to present a report on its implementation every three years and, if relevant, to propose a revision of the regulation.


OPINION of the Committee on Petitions (23.11.2010)

for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

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

(COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD))

Rapporteurs(*): Gerald Häfner and Diana Wallis

(*) Procedure with associated committees – Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

At the end of March 2010 the European Commission officially tabled the text of the Draft Regulation which has formed the basis for the many debates, hearings and discussions which have taken place ever since. Such debates have not only been conducted in the Committees responsible - notably of course AFCO and PETI, but also during a joint AFCO-PETI meeting with National Parliaments. Almost all of the political groups in Parliament have also organised their own hearings on the subject and it is probably correct to say that never has there been such widespread and open debate about a Draft Regulation in the history of the Parliament's activities.

Given the subject however, - the right of European citizens or legal residents to impact directly on the development European policies and legislative measures, much is at stake for all the institutions involved. Parliament recognised this when it agreed that, on an exceptional basis, the Petitions Committee would be involved in a legislative process, under the terms of Article 50 of the Rules of Procedure, because of its knowledge and expertise in relation to the rights of citizens as expressed through the right of petition with which the 'Citizens' initiative' has much in common. This is, in fact, the first time the Petitions Committee has been involved in legislative activity of any sort.

Parliament also considered it to be desirable to allow the Committees responsible to appoint co-rapporteurs, rather than a single rapporteur, in order to ensure the broadest base for an agreement on the issue. Accordingly AFCO, and then PETI, appointed their co-rapporteurs and since then all four have met on a large number of occasions (including meetings with other committee rapporteurs for opinion) in order to deliver a single well-motivated document which represents a more simplified, more user-friendly, more practical and more transparent regulation, better tuned to the contemporary environment within which European politics is evolving.

If the Lisbon Treaty is to mean anything to European citizens then it is on the basis of the functioning of the Citizens' Initiative that it will be judged.

As a result of extensive consultation and debate, a number of important changes have been introduced compared to the Commission's draft and the known position of Council. These concern above all the modifications to the registration procedure (itself related to the conditions and the criteria for admissibility) and the introduction of a most significant change which will give the 'right to sign' to all European citizens of the age of 16 and above. This is considered to be essential and it will inevitably provide a means to generate better and more informed debates about Europe and its future amongst the youth of today in their schools and colleges, and also provide them as well with a potentially important additional stake in tomorrow's policies. A third element is the affirmation that all successful initiatives should be entitled to be heard by the institutions at a public hearing, where the Petitions Committee in particular, intends to play a major role. Lastly, it is considered most important by the co-rapporteurs, that the excessive attention placed by the Commission and the Member States on identity verification creates too many barriers for effective participation and a more simplified procedure is proposed which concentrates on ensuring that safeguards are introduced to prevent individuals from signing more than once and otherwise ensure that the credibility of the proposal is maintained.

The Citizens Initiative, under the terms of the Treaty of Lisbon, is addressed by citizens to the Commission which, as a result, must make some important administrative changes to accommodate their new responsibility.

The draft changes proposed by the co-rapporteurs would provide citizens with the same rights of initiative as the Parliament which already enjoys a right of initiative under the terms of Article 225 of the Lisbon Treaty and the Interinstitutional Framework Agreement, paragraph 16.

It must be understood that the Citizens' Initiative gives the right to Europe's citizens to make a legislative proposal and it is distinct from the right of petition which has been enshrined in all EU Treaties since Maastricht. In Article 227 of the Lisbon Treaty, it states "Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its recognised office in a Member State, shall have the right to address, individually, or in association with other citizens or persons, a petition to the European Parliament on a matter which comes within the Union's fields of activity and which affects him, her or it directly."

A petition is thus addressed by citizens or residents to the European Parliament.

On that basis the Committee responsible considers regularly the issues raised by the citizens and residents of the Union and they are able to participate in the debates when their petition is discussed - often on subjects related to the problems with the application of European law, or issues related to their rights recognised under the Treaty.

The Citizens' Initiative therefore presents an important and additional opportunity for all European citizens to have their voices heard.

There is therefore a very broad agreement between the co-rapporteurs of PETI with the colleagues from AFCO. Only on four specific points of detail are their outstanding divergences and it is to be hoped that these can be overcome in the coming weeks following the votes in both committees so that the Parliament will be able to approach negotiations with Council on a very firm and united mandate.

Diana Wallis & Gerald Häfner.  October 22nd 2010.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Petitions calls on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The Treaty on European Union reinforces the citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing inter alia that every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union and that not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.

(1) The Treaty on European Union reinforces the citizenship of the Union and enhances further the democratic functioning of the Union by providing inter alia that every citizen shall have the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union by way of a European citizens' initiative. That procedure affords citizens the possibility of directly approaching the Commission, conferring on them a right of initiative similar to that exercised by the European Parliament and the Council.

Justification

It is superfluous to repeat Treaty provisions in a recital. The necessary references to the Treaties are already made in the citations. In the last sentence the place of the initiative in the overall framework of the European construction is referred to.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that the European Parliament and the Council should adopt the provisions for the procedures and conditions required for such a citizens' initiative.

deleted

Justification

It is useless to repeat the Treaty provision in a recital. The legal base is already referred to in the first citation of the Regulation.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) These procedures and conditions should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of the citizens' initiative.

(3) These procedures and conditions should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of the citizens' initiative, so as to encourage participation by citizens and to make the Union more accessible. They should strike a judicious balance between rights and obligations.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) It is important that information campaigns concerning citizens' initiatives be organised, in order to raise citizens' awareness and to provide accurate information on this new instrument. The Commission and the European Parliament, via their respective representations and offices in the Member States, should upon request provide citizens with information and informal advice about citizens' initiatives, notably as regards the registration criteria, the values and competencies of the Union and the European Treaties. A user's guide to the citizens' initiatives should be prepared in every official language of the Union and should be available online.

Justification

In order to avoid raising false expectations and misunderstanding on the nature and the scope of the ECI information campaigns become crucial. The amendment aims to improve the citizens awareness and accurate information on this new instrument.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) It is necessary to establish the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. In order to ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest, this number should be set at one third of Member States.

(5) It is necessary to establish a minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. This threshold should ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest but the requirements should not be too cumbersome. It therefore should be set at one fifth of the Member States.

Justification

A lower threshold should be found where the Union interest can still be represented but the requirements are not too cumbersome.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) It is appropriate to fix a minimum age for supporting a citizens' initiative. This should be set as the age at which citizens are entitled to vote in the European Parliament elections.

(7) It is appropriate to fix a minimum age for supporting a citizens' initiative. In order to foster the participation of younger citizens in the democratic life of the Union, this should be set at the age of 16.

Justification

A lower age limit is proposed in order to encourage younger citizens' participation in the democratic life of the Union. The age limit of 16 years in case of European elections already exists in a certain Member State.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) It is important to involve young people and to encourage them to participate in citizens' initiatives. Therefore, in the long term, a European system for the verification of signatures should be set up. This would make it possible to have one common minimum age for signing purposes throughout the Union.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7b) A minimum organised structure is needed in order to successfully carry through a citizens' initiative. This should take the form of a citizens' committee, composed of natural persons (organisers) coming from a number of different Member States, in order to encourage the emergence of Europe-wide issues and to foster reflection on those issues. For the sake of transparency and smooth and efficient communication, the citizens' committee should designate representatives to perform a liaison function between the committee and the institutions of the Union throughout the procedure.

Justification

The citizens' initiative is conceived in order to give the opportunity to citizens to participate in the democratic life of the Union. It should only be open to natural persons who establish a citizens' committee.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens; proposals that are abusive or devoid of seriousness should not be registered and the Commission should reject the registration of proposals which would be manifestly against the values of the Union. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration.

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives and to avoid a situation in which signatures are collected for a proposal which does not fall within the scope of this Regulation, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens. Proposals that are not citizens' initiatives within the meaning of this Regulation should not be registered. Registration is an administrative procedure aimed at selecting those initiatives that fall within the scope of this Regulation; therefore any refusal of registration should be based only on legal grounds and not, on any account, on grounds of political expediency. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration, and should therefore be obliged to inform the organisers of an initiative of the reasons for any refusal to register that initiative and of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available to them. It should also be made clear by the Commission that registration and the collection of the required number of statements of support will not necessarily result in the Commission adopting a proposal for a legal act and that the registration of an initiative does not constitute a formal decision on competence issues.

Justification

The amendment justifies the abolition of the "admissibility check": the Commission should only verify if a certain initiative is a citizens' initiative pursuant to the Regulation. If it is so, the initiative should be registered and the organisers shouldn't be prevented from collecting signatures. The second part addresses some issues which emerge due to the abolition of the "admissibility check". In order to be able to prevent using the initiative for provoking decisions by the Commission on competence issues, it should be explained to organisers that the registration means simply that the initiative in the Commission's view is a European citizens' initiative. It can not be understood as a formal decision on competence issues.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The organiser of a proposed citizens' initiative should be responsible for the collection of the necessary statements of support from citizens.

(9) Once a proposal is registered as a citizens' initiative, statements of support from citizens may be collected by the organisers.

Justification

Reinforces the position that the registration is only aimed at deciding whether a European citizens' initiative is on the table or not. If it is so, organisers do not have to comply with any other requirements (admissibility, etc.) but they are free to exercise their right under the Treaty, namely to collect signatures in favour of an initiative.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) It is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected in paper form as well as online. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person can be identified and that the data are securely stored. For this purpose, the Commission should be required to set out detailed technical specifications for online collection systems.

(10) In order to put modern technology to good use as a tool of participatory democracy, it is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected online as well as in paper form. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person signs only once and that the data are securely stored. The detailed technical specifications should be worked out at an expert level and should be regularly adapted to technical developments; the power to adopt detailed technical specifications for online collection systems should therefore be delegated to the Commission.

Justification

This amendment is aimed at giving the reasons for the provisions and justifies the use of delegated acts.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) It is appropriate that the Commission should take a decision on the admissibility of proposed initiatives at a sufficiently early stage. The organiser should therefore request such a decision after it has collected 300.000 statements of support for the proposed initiative from signatories coming from at least three Member States.

deleted

Justification

The admissibility check is abolished.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The Commission should, within a period of two months after receiving a request from the organiser, adopt a decision on its admissibility. A proposed citizens' initiative should be considered admissible if it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission and concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.

deleted

Justification

The admissibility check is abolished.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories and provided it is considered admissible, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

(15) In the absence of a competent Union electoral authority, it is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks, which may be based on random sampling, and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

Justification

It should be made clear that Member States check the signatures even if it is a European citizens' initiative, because there is no competent Union electoral authority that could do that exercise.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) Organisers should ensure that all the relevant conditions set out in this Regulation are met prior to submitting a citizens' initiative to the Commission.

deleted

Justification

It is superfluous to mention in a recital that the obligations set out by a Regulation should be met in order to reach the desired legal effect.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) The Commission should examine a citizens' initiative and set out its conclusions and the actions it envisages to take in response to it, within a period of four months.

(17) The Commission should examine a citizens' initiative and respond to it in a clear, comprehensible and detailed manner and within a time frame corresponding to its handling of legislative initiatives of the European Parliament under Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Thus, as a first step, the Commission should receive the organisers within three months and inform them of how it intends to act. As a second step, the European Commission should organise a public hearing jointly with the European Parliament, through its responsible committee, with a representative of the Commission in attendance as the main addressee. As a third step, the Commission should come forward with its final response to the initiative after one year, either by proposing legislation accordingly or by explaining in a detailed manner its reasons for not acting on the initiative. The Commission should also give a thorough explanation in the event that the legislative proposal diverges significantly from the citizens' initiative.

Justification

The Commissions' reaction to a move by European citizens should be both legally and politically justified. Furthermore, this should be demonstrated by a reasoning showing that the citizens' voice is heard and the possible action to be taken is seriously and thoroughly thought-out.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data is fully applicable to the processing of personal data carried out in application of this Regulation. In this respect, it is appropriate to clarify that the organiser of a citizens' initiative and the competent authorities of the Member States are the data controllers within the meaning of Directive 95/46/EC and to specify the maximum period within which the personal data collected for the purposes of a citizens' initiative may be retained. In their capacity as data controllers, organisers need to take all the appropriate measures to comply with the obligations imposed by Directive 95/46/EC, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities and the provision of information and the rights of data subject to access to his/her personal data as well as the correction and erasure of his/her personal data.

(18) Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data is fully applicable to the processing of personal data carried out in application of this Regulation. In this respect, for the sake of legal certainty, it is appropriate to clarify that the organisers of a citizens' initiative and the competent authorities of the Member States are the data controllers within the meaning of Directive 95/46/EC and to specify the maximum period within which the personal data collected for the purposes of a citizens' initiative may be retained. In their capacity as data controllers, organisers need to take all the appropriate measures to comply with the obligations imposed by Directive 95/46/EC, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities and the provision of information and the rights of data subjects to have access to their personal data as well as to procure the correction and erasure of their personal data.

Justification

Amendment aimed to give reason for the enacting term. Linguistic changes in order to use gender neutral language.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) The Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for the purpose of amending the Annexes to this Regulation.

(21) With a view to the possible need in the future to amend or supplement certain non-essential elements in the provisions of this Regulation or its annexes, the Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Justification

Amendment that reflects the change in the enacting terms and justifies the use of delegated acts.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(22) The measures necessary for the implementation of the Regulation should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission.

deleted

Justification

Technical specifications should be adopted by delegated acts; therefore, the provision on implementing powers becomes obsolete.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23) The Commission should report on the implementation of this Regulation five years after its entry into force.

deleted

Justification

It is superfluous to simply repeat a part of the enacting terms in a recital.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. "Citizens’ initiative" means an initiative, submitted to the Commission in accordance with the present Regulation, inviting the 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, which has received the support of at least one million eligible signatories coming from at least one third of all Member States;

1. "Citizens’ initiative" means an initiative, submitted to the Commission in accordance with the present Regulation, inviting the 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, which has received the support of at least one million eligible signatories coming from at least one fifth of all Member States;

Justification

In order to facilitate the launching of an initiative, to allow for a simpler and less cumbersome procedure, it is appropriate to set a lower threshold.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. "Signatories" means citizens of the Union that have supported a given citizens" initiative by completing a statement of support for that initiative;

2. "Signatories" means citizens or legal residents of the Union that have supported a given citizens" initiative by completing a statement of support for that initiative;

Justification

There are many reasons why all the participation of all residents should be facilitated, including:

- Non-EU citizens are fully integrated into political life in most member states (being active in political parties, trade unions and community groups, being elected as local councillors or even mayors, etc.) - it seems anomalous that they can not sign an initiative which is not binding in legislative terms

- It sends a signal to non-EU citizens that the EU is not their concern and does not want their involvement or input

- The process of verification of signatures may be done by member states by verifying a sample of signatures. This will encourage campaigners to actively discourage non-EU citizens from signing initiatives for fear of skewing the sample.

- It will exclude not only individuals but whole communities which will simply not be targeted by campaigners due to their having a higher percentage of non-EU citizens.

- It will promote subliminal racism as campaigners are encouraged to target people who look "more European" when collecting signatures.

- The political concept of a "citizens Europe", which inspires the European Citizens' Initiative was never intended to be exclusive, nor to discourage non-EU citizens from engaging with the EU

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. "Organiser" means a natural or legal person or organisation responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission.

3. "Organisers" means natural persons forming a citizens' committee responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission.

 

(This amendment, namely to change "organiser" to "organisers", applies throughout the text. Adopting it will necessitate corresponding changes throughout.)

Justification

A genuine citizens' initiative should, per definitionem, be a tool of participatory democracy which is open for citizens of the Union and not for legal persons. Therefore the organisers should only be citizens (natural persons). The organisers should form a citizens' committee in order to be able to launch an initiative.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Requirements for the organiser and for signatories

Requirements for organisers and for signatories

Justification

A citizens' initiative should be launched by a citizens' committee made up of natural persons who are citizens of the Union. Therefore this title has to be adjusted accordingly.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where the organiser is a natural person, that person shall be a citizen of the Union and be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

1. Organisers shall be citizens of the Union and be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

Where the organiser is a legal person or an organisation it shall be established in a Member State. Organisations which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law shall have representatives that have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and assume liability.

 

Justification

The use of plural is justified by Article 3 paragraph 1a (new). The deletion is necessary because organisers should only be natural persons.

Amendment   26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Organisers shall form a citizens' committee of at least seven persons who are residents of at least seven Member States.

 

The organisers shall designate one representative and one substitute, who shall perform a liaison function between the citizens' committee and the institutions of the European Union throughout the procedure and who shall be mandated to speak and act on behalf of the citizens' committee.

Justification

In order to facilitate the emergence of real European-wide issues, the reflection on those issues and the collection of signatures throughout the Union, the initiative should be proposed by a defined number of citizens who should set up a citizens' committee. The committee should be able to speak with one voice, hence the obligation to designate a contact person and a substitute.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens of the Union and shall be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens or legal residents of the Union and shall be at least 16 years old.

Justification

In order to foster the participation of young European citizens in shaping the Union's future and to encourage wider participation in the Union's democratic life, it is appropriate to set a lower age limit than the age to be entitled to vote in most Member States and than the age limit for the members of a citizens' committee.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative, the organiser shall be required to register it with the Commission, providing the information set out in Annex II, in particular on the subject-matter and objectives as well as on the sources of funding and support for the proposed citizens' initiative.

1. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative, the organisers shall be required to register it with the Commission, providing the information set out in Annex II, in particular on the subject-matter and objectives of the proposed citizens' initiative.

 

The organisers shall provide, for the register defined in the third subparagraph and where appropriate on their website, regularly updated information on the sources of support and funding for the initiative.

This information shall be provided in one of the official languages of the Union, in an online register made available for that purpose by the Commission (hereafter "the register").

This information shall be provided in one or more official languages of the Union, in an online register made available for that purpose by the Commission (hereafter "the register"). Information in an official language other the language(s) in which it was originally provided may be provided subsequently for entry in the register.

 

The translation of the initiative into other official languages of the Union shall be the responsibility of the organisers.

Justification

In practice the initiative should be translated because the citizens' committee is made up of citizens coming from different countries, and the signatures are to be collected in at least one fifth of the Member States.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Except in the cases foreseen in paragraphs 3 and 4, the Commission shall register without delay the proposed initiative under a unique registration number and send a confirmation to the organiser.

2. If it is established that the proposed initiative qualifies as a citizens' initiative pursuant to this Regulation, the Commission shall register it under a unique registration number and send a confirmation to the organisers.

Justification

The registration should only be refused in cases when the move in question is not a citizens' initiative. Those cases are defined by the Treaties and this regulation.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Proposed citizens' initiatives which can be reasonably regarded as improper because they are abusive or devoid of seriousness will not be registered.

3. The Commission shall register a proposed initiative within two months from its receipt when the following conditions are fulfilled:

 

(a) the citizens' committee has been formed and the contact persons have been designated;

 

(b) there are no manifest, significant inconsistencies between the linguistic versions of the title, subject-matter and objectives of the proposed initiative;

 

(c) the initiative does not manifestly fall outside the scope of the Commission’s power under the Treaties to submit a proposal for the requested legal act;

 

(d) the proposed initiative is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious;

 

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

Justification

The Commission proposal separates the question of registration and admissibility. In the rapporteurs' view if a certain move by citizens fulfils all the criteria set out by the treaty and the regulation for a citizens' initiative, the organisers' right to collect signatures can not be denied. In that case there is no need to further examine "admissibility". On the other hand, if it doesn't fulfil those criteria, then it is not a citizens' initiative but something else (petition, letter, complaint, etc.) and in that case, for the sake of legal certainty, it should be made clear from the beginning that collecting signatures is a waste of time. The Regulation therefore should contain the criteria laid down in this amendment in order to make it possible to assess right in the beginning whether a citizens' initiative is on the table or not. If any of the above criteria is not fulfilled, the Commission can automatically deny registration, because the proposed move is not a citizens' initiative; thus the Commission wouldn't formally give a decision on competence issues: it would simply decide on an administrative level whether it is a citizens' initiative or not. The Commission should have a reasonable deadline for the decision on the registration of an initiative, because some serious initiatives could require a thorough evaluation of the issue.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3a. The Commission shall reject the registration if the conditions laid down in paragraph 3 are not met.

 

The Commission shall take any measures it considers necessary to assure organisers that its decision on the registration fully respects the letter and the spirit of the Treaties, without prejudice to its subsequent decision on the substance of the matter.

 

Where it refuses to register an initiative, the Commission shall inform the organisers of the reasons for such refusal and of all possible judicial and extrajudicial remedies available to them.

Justification

The registration of an initiative should only be refused if it is not a citizens' initiative pursuant to this Regulation or if this can not be assessed, because there are serious contradictions in the translations prepared by the organisers.

The Commission should decide on the registration on strict legal grounds; however, that decision should not bind its hands as to its ulterior decision on the substance of the matter.

As a part of good administration, organisers should have feedback from the Commission which would allow them to adjust the initiative in order to be appropriate for registration. The organisers should also have information on the modalities on how to challenge the Commission's decision if they deem it necessary.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Commission shall reject the registration of proposed citizens' initiatives which are manifestly against the values of the Union.

4. At any time before the submission of statements of support in accordance with Article 9, the organisers may withdraw a registered initiative. If an initiative is withdrawn, an indication to that effect shall be entered in the register.

Justification

See the other justifications for amendments to Article 4.

The citizens' committee should remain free to withdraw an initiative when it considers that it is useless to continue the collection of signatures or it simply does not intend to continue its activity for any reasons. However, this opportunity should not be granted after the submission of the statements of support, because Member States spend taxpayers' money on verifying signatures.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Only statements of support forms which comply with the model set out in annex III may be used for this purpose. The organiser shall complete the forms as indicated in annex III prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories. The information given in the forms shall correspond to the information contained in the register.

Only registered language versions of statements of support forms which comply with the model set out in annex III may be used for this purpose. The organisers shall complete the forms as indicated in Annex III prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories. The information given in the forms shall correspond to the information contained in the register.

Justification

Pursuant to Annex III signatories should provide the following information: name, address of permanent residence, date and place of birth, nationality, date of signature. Only registered language versions of the form should be used for collecting signatures, because otherwise, in case of an incorrect translation, it could not be assured that the signatures are collected for the same initiative.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

At the end of that period, the register shall indicate that the period has expired and, where appropriate, that the Commission has ascertained that the necessary statements of support have not been submitted.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories, the organiser shall ensure that the online collection system used for that purpose complies with the provisions of paragraph 4. The organiser may, at any time, ask the relevant competent authority of the Member State in which the data collected is or will be stored, to certify that the online collection system complies with those provisions. The organiser shall, in any case, request that certification prior to submitting statements of support for verification in accordance with Article 9.

2. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories, the organisers shall ensure that the online collection system used for that purpose complies with the provisions of paragraph 4. The organisers may, at any time, ask the relevant competent authority of the Member State in which the data collected is or will be stored, to certify that the online collection system complies with those provisions. The organisers shall, in any case, request that certification prior to initiating the collection of statements of support.

 

The organisers shall make a copy of the certificate issued in that regard publicly available on the website used for the online collection system.

 

Within six months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall make available an open-source software incorporating some of the technical and security features necessary for compliance with the provisions of this Regulation regarding the online collection systems. The software shall be freely made available to organisers.

 

The Commission shall inform the European Parliament of the state of progress in the creation of the open-source software by no later than three months after the entry into force of this Regulation.

Justification

In order for the open-source software to guarantee that the online collection of signatures is simple, unified in all the Member States and respects the data protection requirements, the Commission should inform the Parliament on the progress made. This should be done before the open-source software is definitely made available. This would enable to point out problems in order for the Commission to correct them.

The online collection of signatures should be facilitated by the Commission by making available an open-source software. It is more appropriate to request the certificate for online collection systems prior, and not after, the collection of signatures. Moreover, this certificate should be made public on the website so that citizens know that they can trust the system.

Amendment   36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 - point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

b. the identity of the person can be verified;

b. the fact that each person submits only one statement can be verified;

Justification

The identity of a person is not needed for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of statements of support. It is sufficient to check that the person is eligible to sign and signed only once. The fact that a certain person can sign only once should be verified in the case of online signatures as well.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 - point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

d. the system can generate individual statements of support in a form complying with the model set out in Annex III, in order to allow for the control by the Member States, in accordance with Article 9(2).

d. the system can generate statements of support in a form complying with the model set out in Annex III, in order to allow for the control by the Member States, in accordance with Article 9(2).

Justification

The online statement of support (see Annex III) could also be in a form of a list.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. Within 12 months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt technical specifications for the implementation of paragraph 4, in accordance with the regulatory procedure laid down in Article 19(2).

5. Within six months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 16, and subject to the conditions of Articles 17 and 18, technical specifications for online collection systems.

Justification

The technical specifications should be adopted by delegated acts instead of implementing acts. The change in the deadline is due to an alignment between different deadlines applicable after the entry into force.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one third of Member States.

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one fifth of Member States.

Justification

In order to facilitate the launching of an initiative, to allow for a simpler and less cumbersome procedure, it is appropriate to set a lower threshold.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In one third of Member States, signatories shall comprise at least the minimum number of citizens set out in Annex I.

2. In one fifth of Member States, signatories shall comprise at least the minimum number of citizens set out in Annex I.

Justification

In order to facilitate the launching of an initiative, to allow for a simpler and less cumbersome procedure, it is appropriate to set a lower threshold.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Signatories shall be considered as coming from the Member State which issued the identification document indicated in their statement of support.

3. Signatories shall be considered as coming from the Member State where they have their permanent residence.

 

A signatory who is not a national of the Member State in which he or she permanently resides may choose to be considered as coming either from the Member State in which he or she permanently resides or from the Member State of which he or she is a national.

 

A signatory permanently resident in a third country shall be considered as coming from the Member State of which he or she is a national.

Justification

The permanent residence should be indicated instead of the identity documents. This would enable to avoid potential signatories to be dissuaded from signing. The permanent residence should be the first criterion to decide where the signatures come from. EU citizens living in another Member State than the one from which they are nationals or living outside of the EU territory should not be excluded from the possibility of participating in a citizens' initiative. The criterion that should therefore be retained to determine where the signature comes from should be their nationality.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 8

Decision on the admissibility of a proposed citizens’ initiative

deleted

1. After having collected 300.000 statements of support in accordance with Article 5 from signatories coming from at least three Member States, the organiser shall submit to the Commission a request for a decision on the admissibility of the proposed citizens' initiative. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex V.

 

2. The Commission shall, within a period of two months from the receipt of the request referred to in paragraph 1, take a decision on admissibility. The proposed citizens' initiative shall be considered admissible if it satisfies the following conditions:

 

a. it concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties; and

 

b. it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission to make a proposal.

 

3. The decision referred to in paragraph 2 shall be notified to the organiser of the proposed citizens' initiative and shall be made public.

 

Justification

See the justifications for amendments to Article 4.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, and provided that the Commission has decided that a proposed citizens' initiative is admissible in accordance with Article 8, the organiser shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, the organisers shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organisers shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

Justification

See the justifications for amendments to Article 4.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The organiser shall submit statements of support to the Member State that issued the identification document indicated therein.

The organisers shall submit statements of support to the Member State where the signatories have their permanent residence.

 

A signatory who is not a national of the Member State in which he or she permanently resides may choose to be considered as coming either from the Member State in which he or she permanently resides or from the Member State of which he or she is a national.

 

In cases where signatories have their permanent residence in a third country, the organisers shall submit statements of support to the Member State of which those signatories are nationals.

Justification

The permanent residence should be indicated instead of the identity documents. This would enable to avoid potential signatories to be dissuaded from signing. The permanent residence should be the criterion to decide where the signatures come from. EU citizens living in another Member State than the one from which they are nationals or living outside of the EU territory should not be excluded from the possibility of participating in a citizens' initiative. The criterion that should therefore be retained to determine where the signature comes from should be their nationality.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The competent authorities shall, within a period that shall not exceed three months, verify the statements of support provided on the basis of appropriate checks, and deliver to the organiser a certificate in accordance with the model set out in Annex VII, certifying the number of valid statements of support for that Member State.

2. The competent authorities shall, within a period that shall not exceed three months, verify the statements of support provided on the basis of appropriate checks, and deliver to the organisers a certificate in accordance with the model set out in Annex VII, certifying the number of valid statements of support for that Member State.

 

For the purpose of verifying statements of support, the competent authorities shall check that the person is eligible to sign and has signed only once. The authentication of signatures shall not be required.

Justification

The identity of a person is not needed for the purpose of verifying the authenticity of statements of support. It is sufficient to check that the person is eligible to sign and signed only once.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

After having obtained the certificates provided for in Article 9(2), and provided that all relevant procedures and conditions set out in this Regulation have been complied with, the organiser may submit the citizens’ initiative to the Commission.

After having obtained the certificates provided for in Article 9(2), and provided that all relevant procedures and conditions set out in this Regulation have been complied with, the organisers may submit the citizens’ initiative to the Commission, accompanied by information regarding any support and funding received for the initiative. That information shall be published in the Commission's register.

 

The amount of support and funding received from any source in excess of which information is to be provided shall be identical to Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding1.

 

__________________________________

1 OJ L 297, 15.11.2003, p. 1.

Justification

The citizens' committee should ensure full transparency as to the funds and support of the initiative. It would not however be realistic and would put too much administrative burden on organisers to give detailed information on every single donation coming from natural persons, regardless of the amount. The Commission should therefore be able to determine the amount by delegated act.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where the Commission receives a citizens’ initiative in accordance with Article 10 it shall:

1. Where the Commission receives a citizens’ initiative in accordance with Article 10 it shall:

a. publish the citizens' initiative without delay on its website;

a. publish the citizens' initiative without delay on its website;

b. examine the citizens' initiative and, within 4 months, set out in a communication its conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for doing so.

b. examine the citizens' initiative, receive the organisers of the initiative at an appropriate level and, within three months, set out in a communication its initial conclusions on the initiative;

 

c. organise a public hearing jointly with the European Parliament through its committee responsible, at which the Commission shall be represented at Commissioner or Director-General level and at which the organisers shall have the opportunity to explain in detail the matters raised by the initiative;

 

d. present a legislative proposal within one year or include that proposal in its next year's Work Programme. If the Commission does not present such a proposal it shall give the organisers as well as the European Parliament and the Council detailed explanations of its reasons for not acting on the initiative.

Justification

The Commission should arrive at legal and political conclusions on the initiative. The communication should contain both types of conclusions. The change in the deadline aims to reflect the achievements of the new framework agreement. See also the justification to recital 17.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The communication referred to in paragraph 1(b) shall be notified to the organiser of the citizens' initiative as well as to the European Parliament and the Council and shall be made public.

2. The communication referred to in paragraph 1(b) shall be notified to the organisers as well as to the European Parliament and the Council and shall be made public.

Justification

See the justifications for amendments to Article 3.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The organiser shall destroy all statements of support received for a given citizens' initiative and any copies thereof at the latest one month after submitting that initiative to the Commission in accordance with Article 10 or 18 months after the date of registration of a proposed citizens' initiative, whichever is the earlier.

Unless the proceedings are the subject of litigation, the organisers shall destroy all statements of support received for a given citizens' initiative and any copies thereof at the latest two months after the publication of the Commission communication referred to in point (b) of Article 11(1). In the event of litigation, they shall be destroyed one month after the conclusion of the litigation. Save where the competent authorities of Member States have not yet concluded their verification of statements of support, they shall also be destroyed if a proposed citizens' initiative has not been submitted to the Commission within 18 months after the date of its registration.

Justification

The regulation should take into account the possibility that these documents could be needed in a possible litigation.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The competent authority shall destroy all statements of support and copies thereof that it has received for the purpose of carrying out the verification in accordance with Article 9(2), at the latest one month after issuing the certificate referred to therein.

The competent authority shall destroy all statements of support and copies thereof that it has received for the purpose of carrying out the verification in accordance with Article 9(2), at the latest two months after issuing the certificate referred to therein. In the event of litigation, they shall be destroyed one month after the conclusion of the litigation.

Justification

See the previous justification.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1 – introductory wording

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Member States shall ensure that organisers resident or established on their territory shall be liable under their civil or criminal law for infringements of this Regulation and in particular for:

Member States shall ensure that organisers resident on their territory shall be liable under their civil or criminal law for infringements of this Regulation and in particular for:

Justification

Only natural persons can be organisers.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Amendment of the Annexes

Delegated acts

The Commission may adopt, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Articles 16, 17 and 18, amendments to the Annexes of this Regulation.

The Commission may adopt, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Articles 16, 17 and 18:

 

– technical specifications for online collection systems pursuant to Article 6(5);

 

amendments to the Annexes to this Regulation.

Justification

The Commission should have the power to adopt delegated acts in all areas listed in this amendment. Therefore the title should also be changed accordingly.

The provisions determining the minimum amount of support and funding in excess of which information is to be provided should not be decided by means of delegated acts, as there should not be any minimum threshold for financial support.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The European Parliament and the Council may object to the delegated act within a period of two months from the date of notification. At the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council this period shall be extended by one month.

1. The European Parliament or the Council may object to the delegated act within a period of two months from the date of notification. At the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council that period shall be extended by two months.

Justification

In order to be in line with the horizontal approach followed by the EP, the deadline should be longer than proposed by the Commission.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 19

deleted

Committee

 

1. For the purpose of the implementation of Article 6(5), the Commission shall be assisted by a committee.

 

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

 

The period laid down in Article 5(6) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at three months.

 

Justification

Technical specifications for online collection systems should be adopted by delegated acts; therefore, this provision on implementing acts is obsolete.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 20a

 

Assistance

 

1. The Commission shall draw up and keep up-to-date a comprehensive, user-friendly guide concerning the citizens' initiative.

 

2. The Commission shall provide a help desk in order to support organisers and to enter into a dialogue from an early stage of the procedure.

 

The Commission shall, upon request, inform the organisers of current or intended legislative proposals about matters raised by the initiative and of other registered citizens' initiatives that wholly or partly concern the same matter.

Justification

For the sake of the success of this new democratic tool, it is important that citizens are well informed about the procedure to be followed. The Commission should therefore provide a user friendly guide on the initiative and should set up a help desk which would be a natural reference point to organisers if they have questions or if they wish to clarify a certain issue with the EU institution responsible for the registration of the initiative. Especially, the Commission should help the organisers with information on current or intended legislative proposals, in order to avoid wasting energy on a matter that is already took up by the Commission. The information on other registered initiatives concerning the same matter could enhance the European dimension of initiatives.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Five years after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation.

Three years after the entry into force of this Regulation, and every three years thereafter, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation, with special emphasis on online collection systems and the application of transparency requirements concerning support and funding for initiatives, together, if appropriate, with a legislative proposal for amendment of this Regulation.

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 22

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall enter into force on the first day of the month following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

It shall start to apply six months after its entry into force.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Required information for registering a proposed citizens’ initiative

Required information for a proposed citizens’ initiative

The following information shall be provided in order to register a proposed citizens’ initiative on the Commission's register:

The following information shall be provided for the Commission's register:

1. The title of proposed citizens’ initiative in no more than 100 characters;

1. The title of the proposed citizens’ initiative in no more than 100 characters;

2. The subject-matter, in no more than 200 characters;

2. The subject-matter, in no more than 200 characters;

3. The description of the objectives of the proposal on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 500 characters;

3. The description of the objectives of the proposal on which the Commission is invited to act, in no more than 500 characters;

4. The legal base of the Treaties which would allow the Commission to act;

4. The Treaty provision considered relevant by the organisers for the proposed action;

5. The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative;

5. The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organisers and the contact persons;

7. All sources of funding and support for the proposed initiative at the time of registration.

6. All sources of support and funding for the proposed initiative at the time of registration.

Organisers may provide more detailed information on the subject, objectives and background to the proposed citizens' initiative in an annex. They may also, if they wish, submit a draft legislative text.

Organisers may provide more detailed information on the subject, objectives, and background to the proposed citizens' initiative in an annex. They may also, if they wish, submit a draft legislative text.

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms. The title and the heading should be changed because Article 4 amends substantially the nature and procedure of the registration. Thus the title can be misleading, because more elements are required for registration than listed in the annex, e.g. the initiative is not against the values of the Union, etc. Moreover, the grounds for refusing the registration are listed in Article 4. The Annex shouldn't add to those conditions.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Annex III

Text proposed by the Commission

Statement of support form

Box 1: (to be pre-completed by the organiser)

1.            Commission registration number*:

2.            Date of registration*:

3.            Web address of the proposed citizens' initiative on the Commission register*:

 

Box 2: (to be pre-completed by the organiser)

1.            Title of proposed citizens’ initiative*: (maximum 100 characters)

2.            Subject-matter*: (the subject should be as clear as possible) (maximum 200 character)

3.            Description of the main objectives of the proposed citizens' initiative*: (maximum 500 characters)

4.            Name and address of organiser*:

5.            Website of the proposed citizens' initiative:

 

Box 3: (to be completed by signatory)

1.            Name of signatory:             

  First name*:………………………Family name*:

2.            Address:

  Street:

  Postcode:  City*:

  Country*:

3.            E-mail address:

4.            Date and place of birth*:   

  Date of birth:  Place and country:

5.            Nationality*:

6.            Personal identification number*:  

  Type of identification number/identity document*:  

  National identity card:   Passport:   Social security:   

  Member State, which issued the identification number/identity document*:

7.            I hereby certify that the information provided in this form is correct and that I have only supported this  proposed citizens' initiative once*.  

  Date and signature of the signatory*¨: ………..

 

*: mandatory fields   

¨: signature not required when form is submitted electronically

Amendment by Parliament

Statement of support form

Box 1: (to be pre-completed by the organisers)

1.            Commission registration number:

2.            Date of registration:

3.            Web address of the proposed citizens' initiative on the Commission register:

 

Box 2: (to be pre-completed by the organisers)

1.            Title of the proposed citizens’ initiative: (maximum 100 characters)

2.            Subject-matter: (the subject should be as clear as possible) (maximum 200 character)

3.            Description of the main objectives of the proposed citizens' initiative*: (maximum 500 characters)

4.            Name and address of organisers:

4a. Name and address of the contact persons:

5.            Website of the proposed citizens' initiative*:

5a.         All sources of support and funding received in respect of the proposed citizens' initiative:

 

Box 3: (to be completed by signatories)

Name

Address of permanent residence

Date and place of birth

Nationality

Date of signature

Signature¨

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signatories may only support a given proposed citizens’ initiative once!

______

* If any.

¨: signature not required when form is submitted electronically.

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms. The form should contain several rows for the collection of signatures, because that is how signatures are usually collected in practice.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Annex V

Text proposed by the Commission

Form for the request of a decision on the admissibility of a proposed citizens’ initiative

1.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

2.          Commission registration number*:

3.          Date of registration*:

4.          Number of statements of support received*:

5.          Number of signatories per Member States*:

 

BE

BG

CZ

DK

DE

EE

IE

EL

ES

FR

IT

CY

LV

LT

LU

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HU

MT

NL

AT

PL

PT

RO

SI

SK

FI

SE

UK

TOTAL

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.          I hereby declare that the information provided in this form is correct.

Date and signature of the organiser*:

*: mandatory fields   

Amendment by Parliament

deleted

Justification

Article 8 is deleted.

Amendment    61

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VI

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Form for the submission of statements of support to the Member States’ competent authorities

Form for the submission of statements of support to the Member States’ competent authorities

1. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative*:

1. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organisers and the contact persons*:

2. Title of citizens’ initiative*:

2. Title of citizens’ initiative*:

3. Commission registration number*:

3. Commission registration number*:

4. Date of registration*:

4. Date of registration*:

5. Date of request for a decision on admissibility*:

 

6. Number of signatories coming from [name of MS]*

6. Number of signatories coming from [name of MS]*

7.        Annexes*:

7.        Annexes*:

(Include all statements of support from signatories having specified a personal identification number issued by the same Member State.  

 

If applicable, include the relevant certificate(s) certifying that the conformity of the online collection system with Regulation xxxx/xxxx)

(If applicable, include the relevant certificate(s) certifying the conformity of the online collection system with Regulation xxxx/xxxx)

8. Date and signature of the organiser*:

8. Date and signature of the organisers*:

*: mandatory fields

*: mandatory fields

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms.

Amendment    62

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VIII

Text proposed by the Commission

Form for the submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission

1.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

2.          Commission registration number*:

3.          Date of registration*:

4.          Number of eligible statements of support received*: (must be over 1 million)

5.          Number of signatories certified by Member States*:

 

BE

BG

CZ

DK

DE

EE

IE

EL

ES

FR

IT

CY

LV

LT

LU

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HU

MT

NL

AT

PL

PT

RO

SI

SK

FI

SE

UK

TOTAL

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.          Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative.

7.          I hereby declare that the information provided in this form is correct.

Date and signature of the

organiser*:

8.          Annexes*: Include all certificates

*: mandatory fields

Amendment by Parliament

Form for the submission of a citizens’ initiative to the Commission

1.          Title of citizens’ initiative*:

2.          Commission registration number*:

3.          Date of registration*:

4.          Number of eligible statements of support received*: (must be over 1 million)

5.          Number of signatories certified by Member States*:

 

BE

BG

CZ

DK

DE

EE

IE

EL

ES

FR

IT

CY

LV

LT

LU

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HU

MT

NL

AT

PL

PT

RO

SI

SK

FI

SE

UK

TOTAL

Number of signatories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.          Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organisers and the contact persons.

7.          We hereby declare that the information provided in this form is correct.

Date and signature of the

organisers*:

8.          Annexes*: Include all certificates

*: mandatory fields

Justification

Changes made necessary by changes to the enacting terms.

PROCEDURE

Title

Citizens’ initiative

References

COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD)

Committee responsible

AFCO

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

PETI

21.4.2010

 

 

 

Associated committee(s) - date announced in plenary

17.6.2010

 

 

 

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Diana Wallis

1.6.2010

Gerald Häfner

1.6.2010

 

Previous rapporteur

Gerald Häfner

Diana Wallis

 

Date adopted

22.11.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Margrete Auken, Elena Băsescu, Simon Busuttil, Michael Cashman, Bairbre de Brún, Pascale Gruny, Ágnes Hankiss, Roger Helmer, Peter Jahr, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez, Judith A. Merkies, Mariya Nedelcheva, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Nikolaos Salavrakos, Diana Wallis, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa, Angelika Werthmann, Rainer Wieland

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Sandrine Bélier, Herbert Dorfmann, Gerald Häfner, Axel Voss

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău


OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education (28.10.2010)

for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

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

(COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD))

Rapporteur: Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Article 11(4) of the Treaty on European Union introduces an important innovation in the democratic functioning of the Union by providing a new concrete tool for civic participation and pan-European debate:

"Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties."

The proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the citizens' initiative sets out the procedures and conditions for how the citizens' initiative will function in practice.

Communication, active citizenship, youth and the role of civil society as an inclusive, participatory actor in European Public Space belong to the key responsibilities of the Committee on Culture and Education.

The rapporteur welcomes the Commission proposal, as involving civil society in policy-shaping and the preparations of decisions strengthens the democratic legitimacy of public institutions, of their work and activities. However, procedures and conditions should be designed as pragmatically as possible. Moreover, complicated administrative procedures both at institutional and national levels should be avoided. The rapporteur has the following main concerns and suggestions to change the proposal:

As the citizens' initiative is a tool which should be used by the citizens themselves and its aim is to strengthen direct democracy, active citizenship, and the influence of the European citizens on the European Union policies, the initiative should be submitted to the Commission by an organising committee consisting of at least nine European citizens coming from at least nine Member States. Such procedure will ensure that every initiative will have a European character from the very beginning.

Excluding legal persons from the organising committee will protect the citizens' initiative from a possible abuse of existing business organisations, political parties and other organisations which are much stronger than a group of citizens and have more possibilities to act at the European level. The citizens´ initiative should not develop into election campaigns, nor should it be used as a tool for such campaigns. Politicians have other tools to influence legislative decisions.

According to the rapporteur, it would be important for an organiser to know early enough which kind of a legal act or measure would be appropriate in order to achieve the objectives of the citizens' initiative in case it would be successful. Therefore, the Commission should provide the organiser with a first, realistic indication on appropriate measures already in the context of the admissibility check. That would avoid disappointments in case the Commission would not propose a binding legal act after all.

In addition, there is no need to wait with the admissibility check until the organising committee has collected a certain number of signatures and submitted to the Commission a request for decision on the admissibility. In order to prevent any unnecessary administrative burden, the Commission should check the admissibility of the proposed initiative right after the registration and without any delay.

The rapporteur wants to simplify the statement of support form. First of all, the Regulation should set out only those requirements which are necessary. As regards personal data, these necessary requirements should only be the name, address, nationality, date of birth and the signature. Secondly, the organising committee should be able to prepare is own statement of support form. This way, in addition to the necessary requirements set out in the Regulation, the organising committee could add in the form some additional questions or information, or for example the logo of the initiative.

For the sake of transparency, the funding sources of each citizens´ initiative should be indicated in the statement of support form. It should be clear to all signatories who is financing the respective initiative.

The rapporteur also wants to stress the importance of communication activities and information campaigns, in order to raise awareness on the European Citizens' Initiative. In this context, existing programmes which promote mobility (such as the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes) and active citizenship (the Europe for Citizens programme) can play an important role. As regards collecting of signatures, the rapporteur strongly recommends the development and use of appropriate online tools that are easily accessible across the European Union.

The rapporteur would also like to give the Commission representations and the Parliament information offices in the Member States, as well as the Commission information networks, such as Europe Direct and Citizen Signpost Service, a permanent role in providing citizens with all necessary information regarding the citizens´ initiative.

According to the rapporteur, the minimum age for signatories should be 16 instead of 18. Active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of young people are crucial for the future Europe. Legally, young people come of age when they turn 18. Despite the fact that the citizens´ initiative does not have a direct effect, it may create a trans-European debate and finally dynamise the impetus of legislative decisions. Moreover, linking the minimum age to national voting age requirements is likely to create inequality, due to differences in national requirements.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Culture and Education calls on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3a) It is necessary to organise efficient publicity campaigns, in order to raise awareness of the European citizens' initiative, to promote civil dialogue and to build a genuine European public space; in this context, communication activities and information campaigns have an important role to play. Therefore, the Commission should consider using the existing programmes which promote mobility and active citizenship and new forms of communication, such as social networking, which promote public debate.

Justification

Efficient communication on the citizens' initiative is crucial. The existing programmes which promote mobility (such as the Lifelong Learning and Youth in Action programmes) and active citizenship (the Europe for Citizens programme), as well as European Year for Volunteering 2011 can be useful in this context.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3b) The European Commission representations and the European Parliament's information offices in the Member States, together with the Commission's information networks, should play a permanent role in the provision to citizens of all necessary information regarding the citizens´ initiative.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) It is necessary to establish the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. In order to ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest, this number should be set at one third of Member States.

(5) It is necessary to establish the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. In order to ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest, this number should be set at one quarter of Member States.

Justification

The citizens' initiative should be accessible to citizens, and the threshold for support should therefore not be set too high. The requirement of one quarter of Member States (i.e. 7 of the current number of 27 EU Member States) is an amply sufficient expression of a common EU interest. At the same time, it is in line with other provisions of the Treaties, such as Article 76 TFEU.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) It is appropriate to fix a minimum age for supporting a citizens' initiative. This should be set as the age at which citizens are entitled to vote in the European Parliament elections.

(7) It is appropriate to fix a minimum age for supporting a citizens' initiative. This should be set at 16 years of age.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens; proposals that are abusive or devoid of seriousness should not be registered and the Commission should reject the registration of proposals which would be manifestly against the values of the Union. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration.

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens. This website should give a detailed explanation of the formal and legal requirements for an initiative to be successful. It would undoubtedly serve as an educational tool enabling citizens to make their democratic voice heard. Proposals that are abusive or devoid of seriousness should not be registered and the Commission should reject the registration of proposals which would be manifestly against the values of the Union. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) It is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected in paper form as well as online. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person can be identified and that the data are securely stored. For this purpose, the Commission should be required to set out detailed technical specifications for online collection systems.

(10) It is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected in paper form as well as online. However, in order to simplify the procedure and to make it more accessible, online collection should be encouraged. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person can be identified and that the data are securely stored. Citizens' confidence in the citizens' initiative scheme will be one of the main contributors to its success. For this purpose, the Commission should be required to set out detailed technical specifications for online collection systems in order to facilitate the process. The Commission should freely make available secure tools enabling online signatures to be collected in a way which does not jeopardise privacy.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) It is appropriate that the Commission should take a decision on the admissibility of proposed initiatives at a sufficiently early stage. The organiser should therefore request such a decision after it has collected 300.000 statements of support for the proposed initiative from signatories coming from at least three Member States.

(13) It is appropriate that the Commission should take a decision on the admissibility of proposed initiatives before gathering signatures. The Commission should examine the admissibility of an initiative without delay after it has been registered.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories and provided it is considered admissible, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

(15) It is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories and provided it is considered admissible, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. With online collections of signatures, an additional check of the validity of signatures, besides the technical verification, is needed. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23) The Commission should report on the implementation of this Regulation five years after its entry into force.

(23) The Commission should report on the implementation of this Regulation two years after its entry into force.

Justification

The review of the success of the initiative should take place within a period long enough to allow for full completion of its implementation process and at the same time short enough to ensure that it is not too long after the need to evaluate its effectiveness in achieving the objectives of the initiative.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. "Organiser" means a natural or legal person or organisation responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens' initiative to the Commission.

3. "Organising committee" means a group of at least seven citizens of the Union, each from a different Member State, which is responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens' initiative to the Commission.

 

(This amendment applies throughout the text. Adopting it will necessitate corresponding changes throughout.)

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where the organiser is a natural person, that person shall be a citizen of the Union and be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

1. The organising committee shall be comprised of members who are citizens of the Union, who are old enough to be entitled to vote in the European elections, and who are not currently serving as Members of the European Parliament.

Justification

Excluding legal persons from the organising committee will protect the citizens' initiative from the possible abuse of existing business organisations, political parties and other organisations which are much stronger then a group of citizens and have more possibilities to act on the EU level. The citizens´ initiatives should not develop into election campaigns nor should they be used as a tool for such campaigns. Politicians and especially MEPs have other tools to influence legislative decisions. It is worth to underline that Members of the European Parliament will have a chance to examine each initiative after the communication from the European Commission.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where the organiser is a legal person or an organisation it shall be established in a Member State. Organisations which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law shall have representatives that have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and assume liability.

deleted

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens of the Union and shall be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens of the Union and shall be at least 16 years old.

Justification

Linking the minimum age to national voting age requirements is likely to create inequality, as in Austria, the minimum voting age is 16 years whereas in other Member States it is 18 years. Lowering and thereby harmonising the minimum voting age for signatories is advisable, in order to treat all citizens equally and to engage young people in EU policy making and civil dialogue.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative, the organiser shall be required to register it with the Commission, providing the information set out in Annex II, in particular on the subject-matter and objectives as well as on the sources of funding and support for the proposed citizens' initiative.

1. Before receiving a decision on admissibility from the Commission and initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative, the organiser shall be required to register that initiative with the Commission, providing the information set out in Annex II, in particular on the subject matter and objectives as well as on the sources of funding and support for the proposed citizens' initiative.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Commission shall reject the registration of proposed citizens' initiatives which are manifestly against the values of the Union.

4. The Commission shall reject the registration of proposed citizens' initiatives which are manifestly against the values of the Union. The Commission must duly explain and publish its reasons for rejecting an initiative.

Justification

Transparency will undoubtably prove educational and prevent the multiplication of inadmissible or ludicrous initiatives.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. A proposed citizens' initiative that has been registered shall be made public in the register.

5. A proposed citizens' initiative that has been registered shall be made public in the register. Once the registration has been completed, the Commission shall examine the admissibility of the proposed citizens' initiative, in accordance with Article 8.

Justification

There is no need to wait with the admissibility check until the organising committee has collected a certain number of signatures and submitted to the Commission a request for decision on the admissibility. In order to prevent any unnecessary administrative burden, the Commission should check the admissibility of the proposed initiative right after the registration and without any delay.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a. All registered initiatives shall be given a reference number.

 

The Commission database for storing the registered initiatives should provide a weekly indicator showing the stage reached by any given initiative.

Justification

This will keep citizens up to date on the status of various citizens' initiatives.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The organiser shall be responsible for the collection of the necessary statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative which has been registered in accordance with Article 4.

1. The organiser shall be responsible for collecting from signatories the necessary statements of support for a proposed citizens' initiative which has been registered in accordance with Article 4 and in respect of which a positive decision on admissibility has been taken.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Only statements of support forms which comply with the model set out in annex III may be used for this purpose. The organiser shall complete the forms as indicated in annex III prior to initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories. The information given in the forms shall correspond to the information contained in the register.

Only statement of support forms which contain the information required in the example provided in Annex III may be used for this purpose. The organiser shall complete the forms as indicated in Annex III before initiating the collection of statements of support from signatories. The information given in the forms shall correspond to the information contained in the register.

Justification

The intention is not to restrict the organisers with a certain form but give them the possibility to use their own forms, nevertheless providing the information required in the model presented by the Commission.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. All statements of support shall be collected after the date of registration of the proposed initiative and within a period that shall not exceed 12 months.

4. Statements of support shall be collected only after the date of the positive decision on admissibility in respect of the proposed initiative and within a period that shall not exceed 12 months.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the system can generate individual statements of support in a form complying with the model set out in Annex III, in order to allow for the control by the Member States, in accordance with Article 9(2).

(d) the system can generate individual statements of support in a form which contains the information required in the example provided in Annex III, in order to allow for the control by Member States, in accordance with Article 9(2).

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. In order to keep the citizens' initiative scheme user-friendly and not to provoke undue concerns about data protection, no signatory shall be asked to provide a personal identity card number.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. Within 12 months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt technical specifications for the implementation of paragraph 4, in accordance with the regulatory procedure laid down in Article 19(2).

5. Within six months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt technical specifications for the implementation of paragraph 4, in accordance with the regulatory procedure laid down in Article 19(2). The Commission shall make available secure tools enabling online signatures to be collected in a way which does not jeopardise privacy.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one third of Member States.

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one quarter of Member States.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In one third of Member States, signatories shall comprise at least the minimum number of citizens set out in Annex I.

2. In one quarter of Member States, signatories shall comprise at least the minimum number of citizens set out in Annex I.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Signatories shall be considered as coming from the Member State which issued the identification document indicated in their statement of support.

3. Signatories shall be considered to come from the Member State in which they have their address, as indicated in their statement of support.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. After having collected 300.000 statements of support in accordance with Article 5 from signatories coming from at least three Member States, the organiser shall submit to the Commission a request for a decision on the admissibility of the proposed citizens' initiative. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex V.

1. After the citizens' initiative has been registered, the Commission shall examine its admissibility without delay.

Justification

There is no need to wait with the admissibility check until the organising committee has collected a certain number of signatures and submitted to the Commission a request for decision on the admissibility. In order to prevent any unnecessary administrative burden, the Commission should check the admissibility of the proposed initiative right after the registration and without any delay.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. The decision referred to in paragraph 2 shall be notified to the organiser of the proposed citizens' initiative and shall be made public.

3. The decision referred to in paragraph 2 shall be notified to the organiser of the proposed citizens' initiative and shall be made public. It shall indicate which legal act or measure the Commission considers is appropriate to achieve the objectives of the citizens' initiative in the event that that initiative is successful.

Justification

It is important for an organising committee to know early enough which kind of a legal act or measure would be appropriate in order to achieve the objectives of the citizens' initiative in case it would be successful. Therefore, the Commission should provide the organiser with a first, realistic indication on appropriate measures already in the context of the admissibility check.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, and provided that the Commission has decided that a proposed citizens' initiative is admissible in accordance with Article 8, the organiser shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, the organiser shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The organiser shall destroy all statements of support received for a given citizens' initiative and any copies thereof at the latest one month after submitting that initiative to the Commission in accordance with Article 10 or 18 months after the date of registration of a proposed citizens' initiative, whichever is the earlier.

The organising committee shall destroy all statements of support received for a given citizens' initiative and any copies thereof at the latest one month after publication of the European Commission's communication in accordance with Article 11(2).

Justification

Destroying of all statement of support forms should take place after the publication of the European Commission's communication. The organising committee should have a chance to inform all signatories about the European Commission's communication on a given citizens' initiative. It is extremely important, for the whole process, that citizens are informed about the follow-up of the proposal they support.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. For the purpose of the implementation of Article 6(5), the Commission shall be assisted by a committee.

1. For the purpose of the implementation of Article 6(5), the Commission shall be assisted by an independent committee possessing appropriate technical knowledge.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Five years after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation.

Two years after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation.

Justification

The review should be done earlier. Two years seems enough in order to assess the first initiatives.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – point 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative;

5. The full name, postal address and e-mail address of each member of the organising committee;

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Annex III – box 2 – point 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4a. Funding sources*:

Justification

For the sake of transparency, the funding sources of each citizens´ initiative should be indicated in the statement of support form. It should be clear to all signatories who is financing the respective initiative.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Annex III – box 3 – point 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Date and place of birth*:

4. Date of birth*:

Date of birth: Place and country:

 

Justification

Information on place of birth is not needed. Rapporteur proposes to delete it in order to simplify the form.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Annex III – box 3 – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. Personal identification number *:

deleted

Type of identification number/identity document*:

 

National identity card: Passport: Social security:

 

Member State, which issued the identification number/identity document*:

 

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Annex V

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Annex deleted

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VIII – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative.

6. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of each member of the organising committee.

PROCEDURE

Title

Citizens’ initiative

References

COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD)

Committee responsible

AFCO

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

CULT

21.4.2010

 

 

 

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein

20.5.2010

 

 

Discussed in committee

14.7.2010

27.9.2010

 

 

Date adopted

27.10.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

30

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Magdi Cristiano Allam, Maria Badia i Cutchet, Zoltán Bagó, Malika Benarab-Attou, Lothar Bisky, Piotr Borys, Jean-Marie Cavada, Silvia Costa, Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Petra Kammerevert, Morten Løkkegaard, Marek Henryk Migalski, Doris Pack, Chrysoula Paliadeli, Marie-Thérèse Sanchez-Schmid, Marietje Schaake, Marco Scurria, Joanna Senyszyn, Emil Stoyanov, Hannu Takkula, Sabine Verheyen, Milan Zver

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ivo Belet, Luigi Berlinguer, Nadja Hirsch, Oriol Junqueras Vies, Seán Kelly, Timothy Kirkhope, Mitro Repo, Monika Smolková, Rui Tavares, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein


OPINION of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (26.10.2010)

for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs

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

(COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD))

Draftswomen: Kinga Göncz, Cecilia Wikström

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Article 11(4) of the Treaty on European Union introduces an important innovation in the democratic functioning of the Union by providing a new concrete tool for civic participation and pan-European debate:

"Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties."

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) introduces a new concept of trans-national democracy and brings participatory democracy to the EU. Through the ECI, EU citizens can appeal directly to the European Commission to initiate a legal act. In a way, the Lisbon Treaty has created a fourth institutional body of the EU: one million citizens.

The proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the citizens' initiative sets out the procedures and conditions for how the citizens' initiative will function in practice.

Your rapporteurs welcome the Commission proposal, as involving civil society in policy shaping and preparations of decisions strengthens the democratic legitimacy of public institutions and brings the European Union closer to its citizens.

However, your rapporteurs believe that the citizens' initiative should be designed as pragmatically as possible, and complicated administrative procedures should be avoided. They would also like to see that as many launched initiatives as possible will be granted admissibility. In order to do that the procedural rules must be as facilitated as possible. The rapporteurs have the following main concerns and suggestions to change the proposal:

According to the rapporteurs, the minimum age for supporting an initiative should be 16 years in all Member States. Article 9 TEU states that all Union's citizens should receive equal attention. Active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of young people are crucial for the future of Europe, and decreasing the age limit would help raise awareness towards European issues among young people. Moreover, the ECI is not a decision-making instrument but only an agenda-setting initiative, and supporting an initiative is completely different from the act of voting. Furthermore, linking the minimum age to national voting age requirements would create inequality due to differences in national requirements, which is why your rapporteurs prefer the age of 16 years to be applicable in all Member States.

As for the scope of collection, your rapporteurs consider that it should be enough to collect signatures in one fourth of the Member States instead of one third, as in every Member State where signatures shall be collected, a lot of time and resources are required for administration and translation. Since the rapporteurs want to eliminate the risk of initiatives falling due to time limits or lack of financial support, they suggest that one fourth of the Member States should be sufficient since that number still covers a big part of the EU.

Considering that the Commission requested in its proposal a period of two months to investigate if an initiative is admissible, the time limit of one year for collecting signatures seems to be too short. Your rapporteurs suggest that the time limit for the collection of signatures should be extended to four years in order to ensure that also initiatives without financial support have a chance to reach one million signatures.

Regarding the issue of admissibility, your rapporteurs consider that there is no need to collect 300.000 signatures before the admissibility is checked by the Commission. Your rapporteurs firmly believe that 5.000 signatures should be sufficient and signatories should not need to come from more than one Member State. It takes time and resources to start collecting signatures in several Member States and before knowing if an initiative has been considered admissible, it shall not be necessary to start the process in more than one Member State. Nonetheless, in order to act as a filter for unserious initiatives, your rapporteurs reckon that the requested 5.000 signatures should be collected within 6 months; by setting this time limit, it would be possible to eliminate initiatives that are registered but never get the specified number of signatures.

Your rapporteurs also suggest that the Commission shall investigate the admissibility of an initiative within one month instead of two, so that the momentum of collecting signatures is not slowed down.

Your rapporteurs also believe that proposals either manifestly or covertly against the values of the European Union should be considered inadmissible.

As far as the online collection of signatures is concerned, your rapporteurs suggest that the Commission shall launch a central website named "citizensinitiative.eu", where all initiatives should be registered and all initiatives can be found and signed by citizens. This solution would be highly desirable for several reasons.

Firstly, because of data protection concerns, i.e. if the Commission set up and operated a central website, it would be guaranteed that rules and regulations concerning personal data protection are respected. Your rapporteurs firmly believe that it cannot be expected from any initiator of a citizens' initiative to set up and operate an online signature-collecting system, which meets all the relevant data-privacy regulations.

Moreover, by making each initiator launch his/her own website, the collection of signatures would not be uniform from a data protection point of view.

Secondly, the Commission's proposal would also be problematic as it would impose an extra burden not only on the initiators, but on Member States as well, as they should verify the conformity of the online collection systems with the regulations set out by the Commission, and they should also issue a certificate confirming the conformity concerning each website.

Thirdly, having all citizens' initiatives on one single website would make the accessibility of the initiatives much easier, as interested citizens could find, sign and follow the progress of all the initiatives quickly and without any difficulties.

Thus, your rapporteurs believe that the Commission should set up a central website, in the task of which it should involve relevant authorities of Member States in order to decide what data they need to identify and verify the identity of signatories later. The website should be constructed in such a way that when signing an initiative online the signatory would be first asked about his/her nationality, then only those fields should be filled in which are required by the relevant authorities. The reason behind this solution is that different Member States have different types of identification numbers and need different data to verify the identity of the signatories.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs calls on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) These procedures and conditions should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of the citizens' initiative.

(3) These procedures and conditions should be clear, simple, user-friendly and proportionate to the nature of the citizens' initiative, so as to encourage participation by citizens and to make the Union more accessible.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(3a) It is important that information campaigns concerning citizens' initiatives be organised, in order to raise citizens' awareness and to provide accurate information on this new instrument. The Commission and the European Parliament, via their respective representations and offices in the Member States, should upon request provide citizens with information and informal advice about citizens' initiatives, notably as regards the admissibility criteria, the values and competencies of the Union and the European Treaties. A user's guide to the citizens' initiatives should be prepared in every official language of the Union and should be available online.

Justification

In order to avoid raising false expectations and misunderstanding on the nature and the scope of the ECI information campaigns become crucial. The amendment aims to improve the citizens awareness and accurate information on this new instrument.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) It is necessary to establish the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. In order to ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest, this number should be set at one third of Member States.

(5) It is necessary to establish the minimum number of Member States from which citizens must come. In order to ensure that a citizens' initiative is representative of a Union interest, this number should be set at one fifth of Member States.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(7) It is appropriate to fix a minimum age for supporting a citizens' initiative. This should be set as the age at which citizens are entitled to vote in the European Parliament elections.

(7) It is appropriate to fix a minimum age for supporting a citizens' initiative. This should be set at the age of 16 years.

Justification

Article 9 TEU states that all Union's citizens should receive equal attention. Active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of young people are crucial for the future of Europe. Moreover, supporting an initiative is completely different from the act of voting, therefore, it would be appropriate to involve also young people. Furthermore, linking the minimum age to national voting age would create inequality due to differences in national requirements.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) A minimum organised structure is needed in order to successfully carry through a citizens' initiative. This should take the form of a citizens' committee, composed of natural persons (organisers) coming from one fifth of Member States, in order to encourage the emergence of European-wide issues and to foster reflection on those issues. For the sake of transparency and smooth and efficient communication, the citizens' committee should designate representatives to perform a liaison function between the committee and the institutions of the Union throughout the procedure.

Justification

The citizens' initiative is conceived in order to give the opportunity to citizens to participate in the democratic life of the Union. It should only be open to natural persons who establish a citizens' committee.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7b) It is important to involve young people and to encourage them to participate in the citizens' initiatives.

Justification

In the proposal, Member States have the responsibility for checking signatures. To involve young people, we should aim at developing a system for checking signatures at EU wide level in order to ensure a common minimum age.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens; proposals that are abusive or devoid of seriousness should not be registered and the Commission should reject the registration of proposals which would be manifestly against the values of the Union. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration.

(8) In order to ensure coherence and transparency in relation to proposed citizens' initiatives, and to avoid a situation in which signatures are collected for a proposal which does not fall within the scope of this Regulation, it should be mandatory to register such initiatives on a website made available by the Commission prior to collecting the necessary statements of support from citizens; proposals that are not citizens' initiatives in accordance with this Regulation should not be registered and the Commission should reject the registration of proposals which would be manifestly against the values of the Union, as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. Registration is an administrative procedure aimed at selecting those initiatives that fall within the scope of this Regulation; therefore any refusal of registration should be based only on legal grounds and not, on any account, on grounds of political expediency. The Commission should deal with registration in accordance with the general principles of good administration, and should therefore be obliged to inform the organisers of an initiative of the reasons for any refusal to register an initiative and of the legal remedies available to them in that event. It should also be made clear by the Commission that registration and the collection of the required number of statements of support will not necessarily result in the Commission adopting a proposal for a legal act and that the registration of an initiative does not constitute a formal decision on competence issues.

Justification

This concerns the abolition of the admissibility check: Commission only verifies if a certain initiative is a citizens' initiative pursuant to the Regulation. Then, the initiative should be registered and the organisers cannot be prevented from collecting signatures. But in order to be able to prevent using the initiative for provoking decisions by the Commission on competence issues, it should be explained to organisers that the registration means simply that the initiative in the Commission's view is a European citizens' initiative and not a formal decision on competence issues.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The organiser of a proposed citizens' initiative should be responsible for the collection of the necessary statements of support from citizens.

(9) Once a proposal is registered as a citizens' initiative, statements of support from citizens may be submitted by the organisers.

Justification

The amendment to Recital 9 reinforces the position that the registration is only aimed at deciding whether a European citizens' initiative is on the table or not. If it is so, organisers do not have to comply with any other requirements (admissibility, etc.) but they are free to exercise their right under the Treaty, namely to collect signatures in favour of an initiative.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) It is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected in paper form as well as online. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person can be identified and that the data are securely stored. For this purpose, the Commission should be required to set out detailed technical specifications for online collection systems.

(10) In order to put modern technology to good use as a tool of participatory democracy, it is appropriate to provide for statements of support to be collected online as well as in paper form. Online collection systems should have adequate security features in place in order to ensure, inter alia, that the person is eligible to sign and signs only once, and that the data are securely stored. The detailed technical specifications should be worked out at an expert level and be regularly adapted to technical developments. he power to adopt detailed technical specifications for online collection systems should therefore be delegated to the Commission.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(10a) The statements of support should be collected in a way that is citizen-friendly and which incorporates the necessary safeguards for data protection. At the same time, it should not impose an excessive burden on the organisers.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) It is appropriate for Member States to verify the conformity of online collection systems with the requirements of this Regulation.

deleted

Justification

Since the Commission should set up and manage a central website, the verification of conformity by Member States is no longer required.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) It is appropriate to ensure that statements of support for a citizens' initiative are collected within a specific time-limit. In order to ensure that proposed citizens' initiatives remain relevant, whilst taking account of the complexity of collecting statements of support across the European Union, that time-limit should not be longer than 12 months from the date of registration of the proposed initiative.

(12) It is appropriate to ensure that statements of support for a citizens' initiative are collected within a specific time-limit. In order to ensure that proposed citizens' initiatives remain relevant, whilst taking account of the complexity of collecting statements of support across the European Union, that time-limit should not be longer than 24 months from the date of registration of the proposed initiative.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(12a) It is crucial that transparency be maintained throughout the whole process. Therefore, any financial or political support received should be indicated in the statement of support form relating to each citizens' initiative. Funding by political parties and European political groups should not be permitted.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) It is appropriate that the Commission should take a decision on the admissibility of proposed initiatives at a sufficiently early stage. The organiser should therefore request such a decision after it has collected 300.000 statements of support for the proposed initiative from signatories coming from at least three Member States.

deleted

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The Commission should, within a period of two months after receiving a request from the organiser, adopt a decision on its admissibility. A proposed citizens' initiative should be considered admissible if it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission and concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.

(14) The Commission should, within a period of one month after receiving a request from the organiser, adopt a decision on its admissibility. A proposed citizens' initiative should be considered admissible if it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission and concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties. The Commission may consult the European Parliament on the importance and pertinence of the proposed citizens' initiative, before starting to draw up the draft legislative text based on it.

Justification

The Commission should investigate the admissibility of an initiative within one month instead of two, so that the momentum of collecting signatures is not slowed down.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) It is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories and provided it is considered admissible, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

(15) In the absence of a competent Union electoral authority, it is appropriate to provide that, where a citizens' initiative has received the necessary statements of support from signatories, each Member State should be responsible for the verification and certification of statements of support collected from citizens coming from that State. Taking account of the need to limit the administrative burden for Member States, they should, within a period of three months, carry out such verifications on the basis of appropriate checks, which may be based on random sampling, and should issue a document certifying the number of valid statements of support received.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16a) It is of the utmost importance that organisers of a citizen's initiative provide a declaration of any financial means used to support and promote the initiative, in order to ensure full transparency.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) The Commission should examine a citizens' initiative and set out its conclusions and the actions it envisages to take in response to it, within a period of four months.

(17) The Commission should examine a citizens' initiative and set out its conclusions and the actions it envisages to take in response to it, within a period of three months.

Justification

To ensure and maintain high levels of citizen participation, it is crucial to count on a quick procedure. It is therefore considered that the European Commission shall be able to fully formulate its own conclusions about the initiative and the actions it intends to undertake within a period of three months.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17a) The European Parliament may take any appropriate action within its powers in order to ensure that the voice of the citizens is heard.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data is fully applicable to the processing of personal data carried out in application of this Regulation. In this respect, it is appropriate to clarify that the organiser of a citizens' initiative and the competent authorities of the Member States are the data controllers within the meaning of Directive 95/46/EC and to specify the maximum period within which the personal data collected for the purposes of a citizens' initiative may be retained. In their capacity as data controllers, organisers need to take all the appropriate measures to comply with the obligations imposed by Directive 95/46/EC, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities and the provision of information and the rights of data subject to access to his/her personal data as well as the correction and erasure of his/her personal data.

(18) Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data is fully applicable to the processing of personal data carried out in application of this Regulation. In this respect, it is appropriate to clarify that in the event of paper-based collection the organiser of a citizens' initiative and the competent authorities of the Member States are the data controllers within the meaning of Directive 95/46/EC and to specify the maximum period within which the personal data collected for the purposes of a citizens' initiative may be retained. In the event of online collection, in its capacity as data controller, the Commission needs to take all the appropriate measures to comply with the obligations imposed by Directive 95/46/EC, in particular those relating to the lawfulness of the processing, the security of the processing activities and the provision of information and the rights of data subject to access to his/her personal data as well as the correction and erasure of his/her personal data.

Justification

The Commission should set up a central website in order to guarantee the protection of personal data in case of online collection. All initiatives should be registered and possible to sign on this website. Otherwise, an extra burden would be put on the initiators.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. "Citizens’ initiative" means an initiative, submitted to the Commission in accordance with the present Regulation, inviting the 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, which has received the support of at least one million eligible signatories coming from at least one third of all Member States;

1. "Citizens’ initiative" means an initiative, submitted to the Commission in accordance with the present Regulation, inviting the 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 for the purpose of implementing the Treaties, which has received the support of at least one million eligible signatories coming from at least one fifth of all Member States;

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – point 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. "Organiser" means a natural or legal person or organisation responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens' initiative to the Commission.

3. "Organisers" means natural persons forming a citizens' committee responsible for the preparation and submission of a citizens' initiative to the Commission.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where the organiser is a natural person, that person shall be a citizen of the Union and be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

1. Organisers shall form a citizens' committee coming from at least one fifth of the Member States. Organisers shall be citizens of the Union and at least 16 years old.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where the organiser is a legal person or an organisation it shall be established in a Member State. Organisations which do not have legal personality under the applicable national law shall have representatives that have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf and assume liability.

deleted

Justification

Only natural persons should be organiser of citizens initiative in order to avoid possible abuse of existing business organisations, political parties, etc.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens of the Union and shall be of the age to be entitled to vote in the European elections.

2. In order to be eligible to support a proposed citizens' initiative, signatories shall be citizens of the Union and shall be at least 16 years old.

Justification

Article 9 TEU states that all Union's citizens should receive equal attention. Active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity of young people are crucial for the future of Europe. Moreover, supporting an initiative is completely different from the act of voting, therefore, it would be appropriate to involve also young people. Furthermore, linking the minimum age to national voting age would create inequality due to differences in national requirements.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – title

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Registration of a proposed citizens’ initiative

Registration and admissibility of a proposed citizens’ initiative

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. Except in the cases foreseen in paragraphs 3 and 4, the Commission shall register without delay the proposed initiative under a unique registration number and send a confirmation to the organiser.

2. The Commission shall, within one month from the request for registration referred to in paragraph 1, take a decision on admissibility. The proposed citizens' initiative shall be considered admissible and therefore registered if it satisfies the following conditions:

 

– it cannot be reasonably regarded as improper because it is abusive or devoid of seriousness;

 

– it does not run counter to the values of the Union;

 

– it concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties; and

 

– it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission to make a proposal.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Proposed citizens' initiatives which can be reasonably regarded as improper because they are abusive or devoid of seriousness will not be registered.

deleted

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The Commission shall reject the registration of proposed citizens' initiatives which are manifestly against the values of the Union.

4. The Commission shall reject the registration of proposed citizens' initiatives which are manifestly against the values of the Union, as set out in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union. The Commission’s reasons for rejecting the registration of an initiative shall be well-founded and shall be published on the website set up by it for that purpose.

Justification

Transparency will undoubtedly prove educational and prevent the multiplication of inadmissible or ludicrous initiatives.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. A proposed citizens' initiative that has been registered shall be made public in the register.

5. The decision on admissibility shall be notified to the organisers of the proposed citizens' initiative and shall be made public in the register and on the website provided by the Commission.

 

It shall also include an indication as to which legal act or measures the Commission considers that it is appropriate to take if one million statements of support are collected in favour of that citizens' initiative. The Commission may always modify that indication at the moment when it adopts its decision on whether or not to go forward with a citizens' initiative.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a. The Commission shall inform the organiser of the reasons why registration of the proposed citizens’ initiative has been rejected.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The organiser shall be responsible for the collection of the necessary statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative which has been registered in accordance with Article 4.

1. The organiser shall be responsible for the collection of the necessary statements of support from signatories for a proposed citizens' initiative which has been registered and declared admissible in accordance with Article 4.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The organiser shall also submit to the competent authorities a declaration of any financial support it may have received or enjoyed from any interest group or representatives of interest groups, throughout the entire duration of the collection of statements of support, so as to ensure full transparency throughout the entire life cycle of the citizen's initiative.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. All statements of support shall be collected after the date of registration of the proposed initiative and within a period that shall not exceed 12 months.

4. All statements of support shall be collected after the date of registration of the proposed initiative and within a period that shall not exceed 24 months.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Where statements of support are collected electronically, the data obtained through the online collection system shall be stored in the territory of a Member State. The model for the statement of support forms may be adapted for the purpose of the electronic collection.

1. Where statements of support are collected electronically, the data obtained through the online collection system shall be stored centrally by the Commission or by the European Parliament. The model for the statement of support forms may be adapted for the purpose of the electronic collection.

Justification

The Commission should set up a central website in order to guarantee the protection of personal data. All initiatives should be registered and possible to sign on this website. Otherwise, an extra burden would be put on the initiators.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. Data submitted by signatories through the online collection system must be checked, stored and destroyed in accordance with the Union’s rules on data protection and the right to privacy.

Justification

Signatories are providing personal data which must be protected from any possible form of misuse.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Where the online collection system complies with the provisions referred to in paragraph 4, the relevant competent authority shall within one month issue a certificate in accordance with the model set out in Annex IV. Until such a time as the technical specifications mentioned in paragraph 5 have been adopted, the competent authority shall apply the appropriate national technical specifications for assessing the conformity of the online collection system with paragraph 4.

deleted

Member States shall recognize the certificates issued by the competent authorities of other Member States.

 

Justification

Since the Commission should set up and manage a central website, the verification of conformity by Member States is no longer required.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

a. only natural persons may submit a statement of support form online;

a. only natural persons eligible to sign may submit a statement of support form online;

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 4 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

ba. the fact that each person submits only one statement can be verified;

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. Within 12 months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt technical specifications for the implementation of paragraph 4, in accordance with the regulatory procedure laid down in Article 19(2).

5. Within the 12 months following the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall undertake in conjunction with the European Data Protection Supervisor an evaluation enabling it to adopt technical specifications for the implementation of paragraph 4, in accordance with the regulatory procedure laid down in Article 19(2). That evaluation shall be forwarded to the European Parliament, together with the proposals.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one third of Member States.

1. The signatories of a citizens' initiative shall come from at least one fifth of Member States.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In one third of Member States, signatories shall comprise at least the minimum number of citizens set out in Annex I.

2. In one fifth of Member States, signatories shall comprise at least the minimum number of citizens set out in Annex I.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Signatories shall be considered as coming from the Member State which issued the identification document indicated in their statement of support.

3. Signatories shall be considered as coming from the Member State where they have their permanent residence.

 

A signatory who is not a national of the Member State in which he or she permanently resides may choose to be considered as coming either from the Member State in which he or she permanently resides or from the Member State of which he or she is a national.

 

A signatory permanently resident in a third country shall be considered as coming from the Member State of which he or she is a national.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 8

deleted

Decision on the admissibility of a proposed citizens’ initiative

 

1. After having collected 300.000 statements of support in accordance with Article 5 from signatories coming from at least three Member States, the organiser shall submit to the Commission a request for a decision on the admissibility of the proposed citizens' initiative. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex V.

 

2. The Commission shall, within a period of two months from the receipt of the request referred to in paragraph 1, take a decision on admissibility. The proposed citizens' initiative shall be considered admissible if it satisfies the following conditions:

 

a. it concerns a matter where a legal act of the Union can be adopted for the purpose of implementing the Treaties; and

 

b. it falls within the framework of the powers of the Commission to make a proposal.

 

3. The decision referred to in paragraph 2 shall be notified to the organiser of the proposed citizens' initiative and shall be made public.

 

Justification

It is intended to reduce registration and admissibility in one step. Therefore Article 8 is not necessary as Article 4 is dealing with registration and admissibility.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, and provided that the Commission has decided that a proposed citizens' initiative is admissible in accordance with Article 8, the organiser shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

1. After having collected the necessary statements of support from signatories in accordance with Articles 5 and 7, and provided that the Commission has decided that a proposed citizens' initiative is admissible in accordance with Article 4, the organiser shall submit the statements of support, in paper or in electronic form, to the relevant competent authorities provided for in Article 14 for verification and certification. For this purpose the organiser shall use the form set out in Annex VI.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The organiser shall submit statements of support to the Member State that issued the identification document indicated therein.

The organiser shall submit statements of support to the Member State where the signatories have their permanent residence.

 

A signatory who is not a national of the Member State in which he or she permanently resides may choose to be considered as coming either from the Member State in which he or she permanently resides or from the Member State of which he or she is a national.

 

Where signatories have their permanent residence in a third country, the organiser shall submit statements of support to the Member State of which they are nationals.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The competent authorities shall, within a period that shall not exceed three months, verify the statements of support provided on the basis of appropriate checks, and deliver to the organiser a certificate in accordance with the model set out in Annex VII, certifying the number of valid statements of support for that Member State.

2. The competent authorities shall, within a period that shall not exceed three months, verify the statements of support provided on the basis of sample checks, and deliver to the organiser a certificate in accordance with the model set out in Annex VII, certifying the number of valid statements of support for that Member State. The percentage of invalid signatures in the sample will be deducted from the overall number of statements of support. A certificate will only be issued if the remaining number of statements of support exceeds one million.

Justification

This article aims to make verification faster. If for example an ECI raises 1.5 million signatories the verifying authority may randomly check 5000 samples taken form the whole. If it results from those 5000 that 500 (or 10%) are false, incomplete or non-verifiable, then it may be extrapolated onto the entire collection of signatures, assuming that 10% of the 1.5 million signatories are false. Moreover, such a sample-check correction system also counters the argument put forth by the Commission that the ID number is needed for a thorough check of validity of the signatories.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

a. publish the citizens' initiative without delay on its website;

a. publish the citizens' initiative without delay on its website, in all the official languages of the Union;

Justification

All the EU citizens should be able to understand the content of the proposed citizens' initiative in order to support it, after its approval by the European Commission. This could be achieved only if the initiatives are translated to all the official languages of the European Union, upon publication on the website of the European Commission.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

b. examine the citizens' initiative and, within 4 months, set out in a communication its conclusions on the initiative, the action it intends to take, if any, and its reasons for doing so.

b. examine the citizens' initiative and, within three months, set out in a communication its conclusions on the initiative, as well as the appropriate proposal on the matter where citizens have indicated that a legal act is required. Should the Commission decide to take some alternative action, or not to take any action, it shall state its reasons for its decision in a communication.

Justification

In order to create a stronger duty for the Commission to give a follow up to citizens' initiatives. To ensure and maintain high levels of citizen participation, it is crucial to count on a quick procedure. It is therefore considered that the European Commission shall be able to fully formulate its own conclusions about the initiative and the actions it intends to undertake within a period of three months.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The communication referred to in paragraph 1(b) shall be notified to the organiser of the citizens' initiative as well as to the European Parliament and the Council and shall be made public.

2. The list of citizens' initiatives tabled, as well as the communication referred to in paragraph 1(b), shall be notified to the organiser of the citizens' initiative as well as to the European Parliament and the Council and shall be made public.

Justification

In order to create a stronger duty for the Commission to give a follow up to citizens' initiatives.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The Commission shall deliver a public annual report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of citizens' initiatives, indicating inter alia the number of initiatives submitted, their admissibility and the follow-up given by the Commission to each initiative.

Justification

In order to create a stronger duty for the Commission to give a follow up to citizens' initiatives.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2b. With regard to citizens' initiatives in respect of which one million statements of support have been collected, the European Parliament can at any time call on the Commission to explain the actions it intends to take or, as the case may be, the decision not to take any action, and the reasons for doing so. In exercising its powers the European Parliament can at any time hold hearings of the organisers or adopt a resolution. The organisers may also present a petition to the European Parliament on the subject, if the criteria for doing so are met.

Justification

In order to respond to citizens' expectation and avoid frustration, it is important that the European Parliament offers other options and take a debate to clarify the Commission decision.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

b. non-conformity with the requirements for online collection systems;

deleted

Justification

We support the idea of one single, central website operated by the Commission instead of websites set up by each initiator; like this data protection regulations will always be met.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission may adopt, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Articles 16, 17 and 18, amendments to the Annexes of this Regulation.

The Commission may adopt, by means of delegated acts in accordance with Articles 16, 17 and 18, amendments to all the Annexes to this Regulation apart from Annexes II and III.

Justification

There are provisions in these two annexes that need to be examined by Parliament. These two annexes must be excluded therefore from the scope of delegated acts and comitology.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The delegated act may be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force before the expiry of that period if the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission of their intention not to raise objections.

The delegated act shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force before the expiry of that period if the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission of their intention not to raise objections.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall inform the other Member States thereof.

The Commission shall inform the other Member States and the European Parliament thereof.

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Five years after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation.

Two years after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – point 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The legal base of the Treaties which would allow the Commission to act;

deleted

Justification

Expecting citizens launching an initiative to know the legal base of the Treaties which would allow the Commission to act is not realistic. On the contrary, it is the Commission’s job to examine an initiative and its compatibility with the Treaties and then to inform the organisers as to its admissibility, giving them precise reasons for its decision and publishing it.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Annex II – point 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative;

5. The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser;

Amendment 60

Proposal for a regulation

Annex III – Box 2 – point 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a. Financial and political support received in respect of the proposed citizens initiative*:

Amendment  61

Proposal for a Regulation

Annex III – Box 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Box 3: (to be completed by signatory)

Box 3: (to be completed by signatory)

 

 

1. Name of signatory:

1. Name of signatory:

First name*:……Family name*:

First name*:……Family name*:

2. Address:

Street:

Postcode: City*:

Country*:

2. Address:

Street:

Postcode: City*:

Country*:

3. E-mail address:

3. E-mail address:

4. Date and place of birth*:

4. Date and place of birth*:

Date of birth: Place and country:

Date of birth: Place and country:

5. Nationality*:

5. Nationality*:

6. Personal identification number*:

 

Type of identification number/identity document:

 

National identity card: Passport: Social security:

 

Member State, which issued the identification number/identity document*:

 

7. I hereby certify that the information provided in this form is correct and that I have only supported this proposed citizens' initiative once*.

6. I hereby certify that the information provided in this form is correct and that I have only supported this proposed citizens' initiative once*.

Date and signature of the signatory* ▪: ………..

Date and signature of the signatory* ▪: ………..

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Annex IV

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

ANNEX IV

Certificate confirming the conformity of an online collection system with Regulation xxxx/xxxx

[….] (name of competent authority) of [….](name of Member State), hereby certifies that the online collection system [….] (website address) used for the electronic collection of statements of support for citizens' initiative having the registration number [….] complies with the relevant provisions of Regulation xxxx/xxxx.

Date, signature and official stamp of the competent authority:

deleted

Justification

The Commission's proposal that each initiator should set up his/her own website would place an extra burden not only on the initiators, but on Member States as well, as they should verify the conformity of the online collection systems with the regulations set out by the Commission, and they should also issue a certificate confirming the conformity concerning each website. To avoid this burden, we believe that the Commission should launch a central website to store all the initiatives.

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VI

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Form for the submission of statements of support to the Member States’ competent authorities

Form for the submission of statements of support to the Member States’ competent authorities

1. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative*:

1. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser *:

2. Title of citizens’ initiative*:

3. Commission registration number*:

4. Date of registration*:

5. Date of request for a decision on admissibility*:

6. Number of signatories coming from [name of MS]*:

2. Title of citizens’ initiative*:

3. Commission registration number*:

4. Date of registration*:

5. Date of request for a decision on admissibility*:

6. Number of signatories coming from [name of MS]*:

7. Annexes*:

(Include all statements of support from signatories having specified a personal identification number issued by the same Member State. If applicable, include the relevant certificate(s) certifying that the conformity of the online collection system with Regulation xxxx/xxxx)

7. Annexes*:

(Include all statements of support from signatories)

8. Date and signature of the organiser*:

8. Date and signature of the organiser*:

*: mandatory fields

*: mandatory fields

Justification

Some EU Member States do not issue identity cards for their citizens, therefore, the usage of citizenship would be more suitable. Moreover, since the Commission should set up and manage a central website, the verification of conformity by Member States is no longer required.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Annex VIII – point 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser or, in the case of a legal entity or organisation, its legal representative.

6. Full name, postal address and e-mail address of the organiser.

PROCEDURE

Title

Citizens’ initiative

References

COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD)

Committee responsible

AFCO

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

LIBE

21.4.2010

 

 

 

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Cecilia Wikström

10.5.2010

Kinga Göncz

10.5.2010

 

Date adopted

26.10.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

48

0

1

Members present for the final vote

Sonia Alfano, Rita Borsellino, Emine Bozkurt, Simon Busuttil, Philip Claeys, Carlos Coelho, Cornelis de Jong, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Cornelia Ernst, Tanja Fajon, Hélène Flautre, Kinga Göncz, Nathalie Griesbeck, Sylvie Guillaume, Ágnes Hankiss, Salvatore Iacolino, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Clemente Mastella, Véronique Mathieu, Nuno Melo, Louis Michel, Claude Moraes, Jan Mulder, Georgios Papanikolaou, Carmen Romero López, Judith Sargentini, Birgit Sippel, Csaba Sógor, Rui Tavares, Valdemar Tomaševski, Wim van de Camp, Axel Voss, Renate Weber, Tatjana Ždanoka

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Alexander Alvaro, Edit Bauer, Andrew Henry William Brons, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Nadja Hirsch, Monika Hohlmeier, Ádám Kósa, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, Jean Lambert, Stavros Lambrinidis, Petru Constantin Luhan, Mariya Nedelcheva, Joanna Senyszyn, Cecilia Wikström


PROCEDURE

Title

Citizens’ initiative

References

COM(2010)0119 – C7-0089/2010 – 2010/0074(COD)

Date submitted to Parliament

31.3.2010

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

AFCO

21.4.2010

Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)

       Date announced in plenary

CULT

21.4.2010

JURI

17.6.2010

LIBE

21.4.2010

PETI

21.4.2010

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

JURI

1.6.2010

 

 

 

Associated committee(s)

       Date announced in plenary

PETI

17.6.2010

 

 

 

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Alain Lamassoure

3.5.2010

Zita Gurmai

3.5.2010

 

Discussed in committee

3.5.2010

3.6.2010

14.6.2010

12.7.2010

 

5.10.2010

9.11.2010

29.11.2010

 

Date adopted

30.11.2010

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Andrew Henry William Brons, Andrew Duff, Ashley Fox, Matthias Groote, Roberto Gualtieri, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Zita Gurmai, Gerald Häfner, Stanimir Ilchev, Constance Le Grip, Morten Messerschmidt, Potito Salatto, Algirdas Saudargas, György Schöpflin, József Szájer, Indrek Tarand, Rafał Trzaskowski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Elmar Brok, Marietta Giannakou, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Alain Lamassoure, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Helmut Scholz

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Francesca Balzani, Michel Dantin, Derk Jan Eppink, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves

Last updated: 7 December 2010Legal notice