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

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 ...

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.

European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)

29-01-2018

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), introduced in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty, is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life, through addressing a request to the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. The procedure and conditions for ECIs are governed by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, in force since April 2012. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a proposal for its amendment, picking up on a number ...

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), introduced in 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty, is a key element of participatory democracy, allowing citizens to play an active role in the EU's democratic life, through addressing a request to the European Commission to make a proposal for a legal act. The procedure and conditions for ECIs are governed by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, in force since April 2012. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a proposal for its amendment, picking up on a number of suggestions for improvement. This is a further update of an 'at a glance' note published in July 2017: PE 608.644. For more detailed information on the proposed amendment of the ECI Regulation, please see EPRS' 'EU Legislation in progress' briefing, Revising the European Citizens' initiative, PE 614.627.

Stakeholder consultation in the EU: Commission Guidelines

16-12-2015

A common reproach that has long been levelled at the set-up of European governance has concerned its 'democratic deficit'. In particular, this has encompassed the idea that the European integration process has traditionally strengthened the executive power at the expense of national parliaments, and pointed to the relatively modest powers initially granted to the European Parliament. Strengthening the democratic quality of EU decision-making became a central concern in the 2001 White Paper on European ...

A common reproach that has long been levelled at the set-up of European governance has concerned its 'democratic deficit'. In particular, this has encompassed the idea that the European integration process has traditionally strengthened the executive power at the expense of national parliaments, and pointed to the relatively modest powers initially granted to the European Parliament. Strengthening the democratic quality of EU decision-making became a central concern in the 2001 White Paper on European Governance which identified openness, participation and accountability among the principles of good governance. Against this background, the Commission has gradually developed and formalised numerous mechanisms aimed at broadening participation in order to increase legitimacy, transparency and effectiveness of its policies. While the Commission's consultation framework does not remain without its critics, it has undergone significant improvements. The current Article 11 TEU, introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, aims to give a new boost to 'participatory democracy' in the EU, alongside 'representative democracy', and mandates the Commission to carry out broad consultations with parties concerned. The Commission’s Better Regulation Package, adopted in May 2015, incorporates new consultation guidelines which, inter alia, expand the scope of stakeholder input throughout the policy cycle, further open up the impact assessment process to stakeholders' comments and signal renewed commitment to providing adequate feedback to stakeholders. It should also be mentioned that EU institutions, including the Commission, have developed a variety of mechanisms aimed at improving dialogue with wider society, formal stakeholder consultation being one of them. The following pages do not aim at providing a taxonomy of all of these mechanisms, but give a brief overview of the Commission Consultation Guidelines, which are yet to be implemented in practice.

Actions for Antitrust Damages: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment

15-11-2013

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the proposal for a Directive on Actions for Antitrust Damages, submitted on 11 June 2013. It analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors identified by the Parliament in its Impact Assessment Handbook, appear to be met by the IA. It does not attempt to deal with the ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the proposal for a Directive on Actions for Antitrust Damages, submitted on 11 June 2013. It analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors identified by the Parliament in its Impact Assessment Handbook, appear to be met by the IA. It does not attempt to deal with the substance of the proposal. It is drafted for informational and background purposes to assist the relevant parliamentary committee(s) and Members more widely in their work.

Reforming the European Court of Human Rights: The Interlaken process

27-08-2012

The European Court of Human Rights has been in a constant state of reform since the permanent Court was established in Strasbourg in 1998. Its creation was a response to an increasing workload, a situation which has continued and worsened over the following 14 years.

The European Court of Human Rights has been in a constant state of reform since the permanent Court was established in Strasbourg in 1998. Its creation was a response to an increasing workload, a situation which has continued and worsened over the following 14 years.

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