20,265 of 25,000 signatures

Members of the European Parliament

Petition text:

European democracy is under threat by a bureaucracy that does not seem to care about the citizens. The European Citizens’ Initiative was introduced to build the people's confidence in the EU and give citizens a say in EU politics. Right now is our chance to fight for the survival of the ECI and make sure our voice is heard in Europe. We must mobilise now to call for a Europe not of financial markets and lobbyists, but a Europe of the people!

Why this is important

Did you know the EU and its politics aren't actually so distant from people like us? There is a tool called the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) that allows people to participate directly in the creation of EU laws. Over six million Europeans [1] have used it to stand up to defend media freedom, water as a public good, restriction of animal testing, high quality European education for all, and many other issues that affect us all. [2]

Sadly the ECI has proven to be highly inefficient and lacks teeth. Since it was launched people have made 52 proposals but almost half have not been allowed to start, and of those that were only 3 actually succeeded but did not make any real impact. [3]

This tool is a great idea and a wonderful opportunity for democracy but is currently too weak for participation to mean actual change led by people in Europe. Luckily in just a few days the European Parliament will be voting to reform the ECI for the better. If we show broad public support for reform, the Parliament will have to vote in favour of making this tool work. Take action right now!

Take action today and demand that Members of the European Parliament stand up for democracy in Europe!

Background

The European Citizens' Initiative was introduced in 2012 with the aim to increase direct democracy in the European Union. The initiative enables one million EU citizens from at least seven countries to call directly on the European Commission to propose a new law or a change in an existing law. [4]

Political decisions in Europe impact us all and we must be able to have a real say in them. We must be able to be involved in fundamental discussions regarding how Europe is built.

The ECI is currently the only instrument we have to directly influence the EU’s agenda - but it is highly inefficient and almost powerless. If the parliament does not vote to strengthen the ECI we have no chance of getting the commission to effectively reform the ECI tool and actually make the EU more democratic.

The ECI is currently the only instrument we have to directly influence the EU’s agenda - but it is highly inefficient and almost entirely powerless. If the parliament does not vote for reform we have no chance of getting the commission to effectively reform the ECI tool and actually make the EU more democratic.

This campaign is run in partnership with Democracy International.

References

[1] Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council

[2] Democracy International Revision of the European Citizens' Initiative 29 Sep 2015

[3] Democracy International back ground dossier

[4] European Commission - ECI Basic Facts

Quick Fact Sheet:

European Commission: The European Commission is the EU's executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

European Parliament: 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) directly elected by EU voters every 5 years. The European Parliament is one of the EU's law-making bodies. It discusses, amends and adopts laws proposed by the European Commission.

The Council of the European Union (known as the Council): Government ministers from each EU country, according to the policy area to be discussed. The Council amends and adopts laws, and coordinate policies proposed by the European Commission.

Together with the European Parliament, the Council is the main body to decide on legislation of the EU.

Not to be confused with:

European Council - Leaders of EU member states. Sets the broad direction of EU policy making.

Council of Europe - not an EU body at all.

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