What is a citizens' initiative?
A European citizens’ initiative is a way for you and other Europeans to take an active part in EU policy-making.
If you want the EU to take action on a particular issue, you can launch a citizens’ initiative calling on the European Commission to propose new EU legislation on that issue.
For an initiative to be considered by the Commission, you need to get 1 million citizens from across the EU to sign it in support.
More on the European citizens’ initiative
How to organise an initiative?
Before you launch your initiative, you need to set up a group of organisers
The group should be made up of at least 7 EU citizens, living in at least 7 different EU countries. They don’t have to be nationals of 7 different countries, but they must be old enough to vote in European Parliament elections in their country.
You must then submit a registration request to the Commission. Before registering your proposed initiative, the Commission will verify a number of legal criteria, in particular that your proposal falls within an area where it has the power to act.
Once your initiative is registered, you may set the start date for collecting statements of support from citizens across the EU.
How to get an answer and make an impact?
Your initiative must meet certain conditions, including
- at least 1 million valid signatures collected
- signatories from at least 7 EU countries (including a minimum number of signatures from each)
If your initiative meets all the conditions, the Commission will consider it.
Within 1 month
- EU officials will meet you
Within 3 months
- you will have a public hearing at the European Parliament to explain your initiative
Within 6 months
- the Commission will issue a formal reply – and explain why it will or will not propose a new law based on your proposal