European Citizens' Initiative :
One year in practice - evaluating experience and tackling obstacles
- Commission statement
- MEP Debate
EPRef93334 // European Parliament , Strasbourg, EP Plenary session, Hemicycle
Lieu: European Parliament , Strasbourg
End production: 18/04/2013 First transmission: 18/04/2013
Assessing the first year of the European Citizens' Initiative
Since April 2012, EU citizens can take part in shaping EU policy through the European citizens' initiative. Today April 18th, MEPs will assessed with the Commission the experiences and problems encountered in the first year of this new tool, which allows one million citizens from at least seven EU countries to ask the Commission to propose new laws.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Parliament, Strasbourg
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Cecilia MALMSTRÖM, "Although the first 12 months of the European Citizens' initiative have not been without difficulties, I believe that we can be proud of this new instrument of participatory democracy."
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Cecilia MALMSTRÖM,"14 initiatives are currently registered with the Commission, they cover a broad range of areas, media pluralism, public good and services, education, animal testing, climate change, voting rights, roaming charges, speed limits and mobility."
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Cecilia MALMSTRÖM, "When the European Citizens' initiative entered into force a year ago in April 2012 few expected organisers to have such difficulties finding affordable service providers to host and to help with the certification of the on-line collection system. The Commission therefore offered as a temporary solution to host on-line collection systems on its service in Luxembourg, free of charge."
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Cecilia MALMSTRÖM, " It is in fact the legal framework that is at default. The Commission legislative proposal allowed all citizens to exercise their right wherever they resided , however the regulation as adopted by the EP and the Council introduced varying data requirement across the member states and that means for example that UK or Irish citizens in the EU outside their country of origin will be unable to support European Citizens' initiative depending on the requirements of their country of residence and the Commission agrees that this is not acceptable and has consistently encouraged the Member states to lower to the extent possible their respective data requirements."
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Mariya GABRIEL (EPP, BG)," Some initiatives weren't be able to meet the deadlines of 12 moths to get the requisite number of signatures. Will the Commission make sure that everybody has equal access under equal conditions in the EU ?
||SOUNDBITE (Spanish) by Enrique GUERRERE SALOM (S&D, SP)," I would urge the Commission to call on Council to do what it can do to encourage Member states to assist this, sometimes not recognising citizens or nationals from other member states. I think that Madam President when there is a lot of euro scepticism about that it is only right and proper that we give our citizens a chance to feel European and feel that they can participate directly on the legislative process."
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Liam AYLWARD (ALDE, IE),"The technical registration and the administrative criteria are formidable and problematic; There are numerous complains with issues over lack of clarity and admissibility. Citizens should not have their time wasted, information and engagement should be put in place from an earlier point in the process."
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Liam AYLWARD (ALDE, IE)," I support the idea that there should a be single point of contact for the initiative so as to avoid the citizens organising a submission having to enquire 27 soon to be 028 member states for information and updates. We must ensure that citizens are treated equally regardless of their nationality or where they are residing."
||SOUNDBITE (German) by Gerald HÄFNER (Greens/EFA, DE),"The first issue is that the majority of citizens in Europe that this instrument exists. Before the entry into force of the initiative I spoke to Mr Barroso, Mr Schulz and Mr Van Rompuy and I said they should go to address the citizens of Europe, this is the start of a new era. We want to her your ideas your proposals. We don't want to be a top down Europe. We want to be an open Europe which belongs to the citizens so make your proposals "
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Gerard BATTEN (EFD, UK)," There is no common ^people in Europe , there is no political identity with which they can identify so you can never have a true democratic system in the UE as a whole"
||cutaways (2 shots)