One of Us: the second – even more successful - European Citizens' Initiative
The second successful European Citizens' Initiative, One of Us, was submitted to the European Commission on 28 February after validation of its signatures of support by all Member State authorities. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič welcomed the submission.
Support for the One of Us ECI, whose organisers call on the EU to 'establish a ban and end the financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the areas of research, development aid and public health', has been checked and validated by the national authorities of the Member States.
Support for One of Us also outstripped that for the first ECI, Right2Water, both in the number of Member States where a minimum threshold of support was reached, and in the total statements of support.
Support for One of Us crossed the minimum threshold in 18 Member States (Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain). Overall, the ECI received 1,721,626 validated statements of support. Right2Water collected 1,680,172 signatures of support.
The Commission now has three months in which to invite the organisers to Brussels to explain their ideas in more depth, and to take part in a public hearing arranged in the European Parliament. Then the Commission must decide whether it will act by adopting legislation, act in some other way to achieve the goals of the ECI, or not act at all. Whichever route is taken, the Commission must explain its reasoning through a Communication adopted by the whole College of Commissioners.
Righ2Water's public hearing was held on 17 February in Brussels, and the Commission now has until 20 March to present its Communication.