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First European Citizens' Initiative hits one million signatures

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Organisers of the European Citizens’ Initiative “Right2Water” have announced that they have collected more than one million signatures: it could be the first European Citizens' Initiative to succeed in collecting the necessary number of statements of support.Right2Water is using the open-source online collection system software provided by the Commission for free which has been developed with the support of the ISA programme.

A European citizens' initiative can ask the European Commission to propose legislation if it is backed by at least one million EU citizens from at least 7 out of the 27 member states. The organisers have chosen to continue collecting signatures. Before submitting their initiative to the European Commission, the number of statements of support collected will have to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States.

The organisers of the “Right2Water” initiative believe that 'water is a public good, not a commodity'. They invite the European Commission to 'propose legislation implementing the human right to water and sanitation as recognised by the United Nations, and promoting the provision of water and sanitation as essential public services for all'.

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission said: "I would like to congratulate the organisers. Although the signatures will need to be verified, collecting 1 million signatures in fewer than six months is a real achievement. The goal of European Citizens' Initiatives is to spark pan-European debates on issues that concern citizens across Europe, and get those issues onto the EU agenda. Right2Water has certainly achieved that."

For initiatives that fulfil the requirements the Commission has three months to examine the initiative and decide how to act on it. It will meet the organisers so they can explain the issues raised in their initiative in more depth. The organisers will also have the opportunity to present their initiative at a public hearing organised at the European Parliament. The Commission will then adopt a Communication explaining its conclusions on the initiative, what action it intends to take, if any, and its reasoning.

Further information at:
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-107_en.htm

On-going European citizens’ initiatives:
http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/ongoing

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The ISA programme -  Fostering interoperability, sharing and re-use among European public administrations
http://ec.europa.eu/isa/