The European Citizens' Initiative: the experience of the first three years - European Implementation Assessment

15-04-2015

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) has been in operation since April 2012. Observers have identified a number of shortcomings in its implementation, which impact negatively on the effectiveness and acceptance of this relatively new instrument of transnational participatory democracy. Against this background, stakeholders are calling for simplification and a substantial revision of the current ECI framework and its application, including its implementation in the EU Member States. On 31 March 2015, the Commission presented its first report on the application of the ECI Regulation. While it concluded that it considered the ECI to be fully implemented, it however listed a few areas for improvement. It is widely expected that this review, together with the European Ombudsman's recent recommendations, will prompt a revision of that regulation. This paper seeks to provide a systematic overview of the current weaknesses in the ECI process and puts forward concrete recommendations for a better functioning ECI.

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) has been in operation since April 2012. Observers have identified a number of shortcomings in its implementation, which impact negatively on the effectiveness and acceptance of this relatively new instrument of transnational participatory democracy. Against this background, stakeholders are calling for simplification and a substantial revision of the current ECI framework and its application, including its implementation in the EU Member States. On 31 March 2015, the Commission presented its first report on the application of the ECI Regulation. While it concluded that it considered the ECI to be fully implemented, it however listed a few areas for improvement. It is widely expected that this review, together with the European Ombudsman's recent recommendations, will prompt a revision of that regulation. This paper seeks to provide a systematic overview of the current weaknesses in the ECI process and puts forward concrete recommendations for a better functioning ECI.