Commission offers own servers to help get first European citizens' initiatives off the ground
The Commission has thrown a lifeline to organisers of the first European citizens' initiatives (ECIs) by exceptionally offering to host their online signature collection systems on its own servers. This temporary and optional service is a response to issues faced by some organisers during the start-up phase of this new instrument for participatory democracy. The Commission will also extend the one-year deadline to collect one million statements of support, to ensure that all organisers have a full 12 months from the moment the Commission's platform is operational, whether they use the platform or not.
Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "During these early stages of what is, after all, the biggest ever experiment in transnational participatory democracy, the Commission is absolutely determined to make sure that organisers of the first ECIs face no insurmountable stumbling blocks. Since some organisers struggled to find suitable host providers on the market for collecting signatures online, the Commission will offer its own servers to them as a hosting environment."
The Commission will now work with the organisers interested in using this service to help them set up their system and get it certified by the relevant national authority, so that all registered initiatives can start their online collection as soon as possible, with the necessary protection for signatories' personal details.
Organisers of two citizens' initiatives have already successfully set up their system with private service providers. One of them, the so-called 'right2water' initiative, just became the very first to receive certification by the competent national authority, clearing the last hurdle to start collecting statements of support online.
Launched in April this year, ECIs enable one million citizens from across Europe to come together and ask the Commission to do something about an issue that is important to them. Since then, nine initiatives have been registered by the Commission. These can be found on the ECI website: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/ongoing
Rapid links: MEMO/12/235
Other links: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative