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About the citizens' initiative

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The procedure step by step
Examination, public hearing in the European Parliament and answer by the Commission

In the 3 months following the submission of the initiative:

  • Commission representatives will meet the organisers so they can explain in detail the issues raised in their initiative
  • the organisers will have the opportunity to present their initiative at a public hearing in the European Parliament
  • the Commission will adopt a formal response spelling out what action it will propose in response to the citizens' initiative, if any, and the reasons for doing or not doing so.

This response will take the form of a communication which will be formally adopted by the College of Commissioners and published in all official EU languages.

In certain cases, the Commission may only present its preliminary opinion on the matter and decide to carry out further studies before making its final decision.

The Commission is not obliged to propose legislation as a result of an initiative. If the Commission decides to put forward a legislative proposal in response to a citizens' initiative, this proposal is submitted to the legislator (generally the European Parliament and the Council or in some cases only the Council) and, if adopted, it becomes law.

For more information on examination and answer by the Commission, see FAQ.

For more information on the EU decision-making process, see How EU decisions are made.