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The procedure step by step
Certification of your online collection system

This step is mandatory only if organisers plan to collect statements of support online.

Organisers who wish to collect statements of support online must build an online collection system, accessible through their website, that responds to the broad security and technical requirements set out in Article 6(4) of the Regulation on the citizens' initiative and to the detailed technical specifications set out in a specific regulation (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1179/2011). These requirements seek to ensure in particular that the data will be securely collected and stored in the system.

Once the online collection system is set up and fully complies with the requirements mentioned above, organisers should request the competent national authority of the member state where the data will be stored to certify their system. To this end, organisers have to provide appropriate documentation to the competent authority.

Even if the requirements to be fulfilled by the systems are common across the EU, member states are free to decide how to verify the compliance of the systems. The certification procedure may therefore vary from one member state to another and will also depend on the software and hosting provider used. The verification may include vulnerability and/or penetration tests, or even, if deemed necessary, onsite audits.

For more information on where you can get your online collection system certified, you can consult the list of competent authorities.

The competent national authority has one month to verify whether the technical specifications referred to above are satisfied. Once a system has been certified compliant by the national authority, organisers will receive a certificate, a copy of which they must publish on their website.

Certification is mandatory and a precondition for the collection of statements of support online, irrespective of the software used. However, it will be more straightforward if the organisers use the software provided by the Commission.

Tips for the certification of online collection systems

If organisers use the open source software supplied by the Commission, the certification of their system by the competent national authorities should be straightforward, provided that they have applied the technical specifications to other features of the system not covered by the software.

Organisers can obtain certification either before or after registering their proposed initiative on this website; however, they must obtain the certificate from the competent national authority and confirmation of the registration of the initiative by the Commission before starting to collect signatures online.

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