Parliamentary questions
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26 March 2013

Question for oral answer O-000032/2013

to the Council

Rule 115

Gerald Häfner, Michèle Rivasi, Sven Giegold, Eva Lichtenberger, Jean Lambert, Keith Taylor, Claude Turmes, Sandrine Bélier, Satu Hassi, Isabella Lövin, Hélène Flautre, Reinhard Bütikofer, Isabelle Durant, Mariya Gabriel, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Tatjana Ždanoka, Malika Benarab-Attou, Bart Staes, Indrek Tarand, Jan Philipp Albrecht, Werner Schulz, Nikos Chrysogelos, Helga Trüpel, Jill Evans, Stanimir Ilchev, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Margrete Auken, Zita Gurmai, Rui Tavares, Christian Engström, Helmut Scholz, Heide Rühle, Judith Sargentini, Dimitrios Droutsas, Kinga Göncz, Ulrike Lunacek, Martin Kastler, Martin Häusling, Edward McMillan-Scott, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Mark Demesmaeker, Andreas Mölzer, Alain Lamassoure, Jo Leinen, Manfred Weber, Marietje Schaake, Andrew Duff, Franziska Katharina Brantner, Filiz Hakaeva Hyusmenova, Rafał Trzaskowski, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Barbara Lochbihler, Søren Bo Søndergaard, Andrea Zanoni, Heinz K. Becker, Marielle de Sarnez, Evelyn Regner, Ana Miranda, Michael Theurer, Roberto Gualtieri, Olle Schmidt, Michael Cashman, Jean-Luc Bennahmias, Cecilia Wikström, Fiona Hall, David Martin, Csaba Sándor Tabajdi, Amelia Andersdotter, Erminia Mazzoni, Rebecca Harms, Philippe Lamberts, György Schöpflin, Michael Cramer, Bill Newton Dunn, Elmar Brok

  Subject:  One year of European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) in practice: evaluating experience and tackling obstacles

Since 1 April 2012 citizens across Europe have had the right to convey their ideas to decisionmakers at European level using the European Citizens Initiative. However, almost all registered initiatives are reporting significant technical and administrative difficulties, leading to tremendous delays and unacceptably high costs. Most issues concern the opensource software for online signature collection offered by the Commission, which is extremely complicated to handle. Assistance remains slow and ineffective. An estimated 11 million EU citizens residing outside their home country are being denied their right to support ECIs by Member States.

  Will the Member States consider unifying the requirements for the scrutiny of signatures (both online and in written form), thereby eliminating legal insecurities and creating a level playing field for all citizens?

  What will the Member States do to ensure that they are able to check the signatures of all their citizens regardless of their place of residence?

  Will the Member States ensure that the design of paper signature-gathering forms is citizenfriendly and reflects feedback from initiatives?

  Will the Member States grant the Commission the resources it needs in order to provide full and equal support for all initiatives?

  Does the Council intend to establish a single point of contact for initiatives on ECI matters that fall within the responsibility of the Member States in order to avoid organisers having to address 27 (28) different authorities, with the inevitable linguistic and bureaucratic hurdles that this entails?

Tabled: 26.3.2013

Forwarded: 27.3.2013

Deadline for reply: 17.4.2013

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