To support a citizens' initiative is required to include the participation of at least 1 million citizens from at least one quarter of the EU Member States (currently seven Member States). This way is to be ensured that the initiative represents a request of a great part of the EU citizens. Also, all signatories need to be nationals of an EU country and have reached the required age (usually 18 years) to vote for the European Parliament.
The organizers of a citizens' initiative, a citizens' committee composed of at least 7 EU citizens who are resident in at least 7 different Member States, will have 1 year to collect the necessary statements of support. The signatures can be collected both in paper and via the internet. The number of statements of support has to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States. In Germany, this is to be done by the Federal Office of Administration.
All rules and procedures governing this new instrument are defined in a Regulation (EU) No. 211/2011 adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 16 February 2011.
The main issues concerning the implementation of a European Citizens' Initiative will be explained in detail on the special website of the European Commission. Among other information, you will find the comprehensive and user-friendly guide: "You can set the agenda!" In addition all the EU initiatives launched are registered on this website.
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