The added value of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), and its revision

Study 13-04-2018

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is aimed at bringing the EU closer to its citizens, by enabling them to invite the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. Introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the ECI should provide every citizen with the right to participate in the democratic life of the Union. However, the ECI in practice has had various procedural hurdles, preventing the fulfilment of the regulation's objectives. The ECI is thus not fulfilling its potential with regard to bringing the EU closer to its citizens. Against this background, the present study outlines the weaknesses in the existing ECI procedure. Moreover, it assesses, with a view to their added value, the main reform proposals that have been put forward to improve the ECI's functioning.