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Eu­ro­pean Cit­i­zens' Ini­tia­tive

Since 1 April 2012, the Lis­bon Treaty in­tro­duces a new form of pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion in Eu­ro­pean Union pol­i­cy shap­ing. EU cit­i­zens have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to launch a so-called Eu­ro­pean Cit­i­zens' Ini­tia­tive to in­vite the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion to bring for­ward pro­pos­als for le­gal acts in all pol­i­cy ar­eas where the Com­mis­sion has the pow­er to do so.

This in­cludes ar­eas like agri­cul­ture, trans­port, the en­vi­ron­ment as well as the EU Sin­gle Mar­ket. The ini­tia­tive aims to strength­en the par­tic­i­pa­tion of EU cit­i­zens in the EU pol­i­cy pro­cess and thus bring the com­mu­ni­ty clos­er to its cit­i­zens.

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.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion please feel free to con­tact us.

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Mr Schmitz

+49 (0) 22899-358-5012

+49 (0) 22899-358-2893


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