Warming Up for the Citizens' Initiative conference: extracts from the speech by Maroš Šefčovič and Nicolai Wammen
On 26/01/2012 in Brussels, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, and Nicolai Wammen, Danish Minister for European Affairs and President in office of the Council, participated in the conference entitled "Warming up for the Citizens' Initiative", which was organised in Brussels. The Lisbon Treaty introduced a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). As required by the Treaty, on a proposal from the EC, the EP and the Council adopted a Regulation which defined the rules and procedure governing this new instrument (Regulation (EU) No. 211/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council 16 February 2011 on the citizens' initiative).
Maroš Šefcovic today launched the Citizen's Initiative website used to register requests, and to showcase the free open source software that citizens could use to collect signatures online. It marked a key stage in final preparations for European Citizens' Initiatives. He also visited stands and met responsible for ECIs, closely involved with the instrument, as well as representatives from Facebook, Google, Twitter and Dailymotion. Participants learnt how the procedure would work in practice, how Member States would implement this new tool, and the potentially central role of social media in relation to ECIs.