Initiative for the
European Citizens' Initiative
On Tuesday, 15 July 2014, a new European Citizens’ Initiative has applied for registration with the European Commission which now has two months time to decide on the admissibility of this proposed ECI. This ECI is expected to start mid September. As the organisers of the initiative “STOP TTIP” informed during the press conference, the upcoming ECI asks the EU Commission to recommend to the EU Council of Ministers to repeal the negotiating mandate for the Trade Investor Partnership (TTIP) and not to conclude the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) either.
During this summer a new ECI will kick off with the aim of repealing the European Union’s negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and not concluding the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The initiative is currently looking for support from citizens and partner organizations across Europe. So far the campaign is already supported by over 100 organisations from 17 EU member states. The ECI campaign is being coordinated by an alliance of several organisations including Attac, the Munich Environment Institute, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Unit (NABU) and More Democracy Germany (Mehr Demokratie e.V.). For the very first time a large online platform – Campact – is a co-initiating NGO of a European Citizens’ Initiative. More…
The European Commission has rejected the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ‘One of Us’. After having met with the organisers of the initiative on 9th April and organizing a public hearing in the European Parliament on 10th April, the Commission has decided not to submit a legislative proposal, given that Member States and the European Parliament have only recently discussed and decided EU policy in this regard. The citizens’ committee of ‘One of Us’ expressed “deep disappointment” in the decision, which it characterized as a “veto” that is “contrary to ethical and democratic requirements.” Moreover, the committee said the European Commission’s decision is likely to be appealed before Luxembourg’s Court of Justice, where the laws recognize respect for human life from conception.
Guest Blogg by Florian Schmitz,Thessaloniki
Simultaneously with the first ballot of the local elections on Sunday, the citizens of Thessaloniki were also invited to vote on the privatization of the public water company EYTHA. 98% of them said “Oxi” (“No”), rejecting the government’s plan to privatize EYTHA. But the referendum is unofficial. On Saturday, the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Supreme Court in Athens had declared the public vote illegal. Despite this, 218,000 people took part. More…
Citizens of Thessaloniki Vote Directly on Water Privatization – First Referendum in Greece since 1974
After nearly 2 Million European Citizens supported the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) against the privatization of water and sanitation services – Right2Water – the European Commission (EC) has stated that it could not initiate legislation on the topic of privatization as it would “fall outside its competences”, see the EC Vice-President’s statement of Sefcovic.
At the same time the EC has been pursuing its austerity measures in the crisis-hit countries and has been imposing policies that lead to the privatization of public services – including water services – in Greece. This led the citizens of Thessaloniki – the second largest city of Greece – to vote directly on the subject of water privatization at the local level in a referendum to be held on May 18th 2014. Read the report by Carsten Berg, who is currently travelling in Greece in order to explore local and European citizens’ initiatives and democracy movements. More…
From May 8th till May 15th The ECI Campaign’s general coordinator Carsten Berg will be visiting Greece in order to explore the existing citizens’ movements and civil society projects that are implicitly or directly contributing to a more democratic and participatory Europe.
After meetings in Thessaloniki with youth organizations at the European Youth Dialogue, he will meet with Greek activist from ECI Right2Water who currently prepare their local referendum May 18th against the privatization of water. (More background on the activities against the privatization of water see here and here.
Next, Carsten Berg will head for Athens and meet ECI organizers from the ongoing ECI Invest in Education, the refused ECI Seisachtheia and possible future ECIs.
Feel free to contact Carsten Berg between 08-15.05 in Greece. Contact: email@example.com. +49-1764-3064365
On 15 April 2014, the ECI Day 2014 took place in the offices of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels with nearly 200 participants. The ECI Campaign was one of the partners of the event, during which a wide range of ECI stakeholders summarised the first two years of the European Citizens’ Initiative and discussed its future.
Before tomorrow’s public hearing in the European Parliament concerning the ‘One of Us’ ECI, it is certainly worth reading Ana del Pino’s text from our upcoming publication “An ECI That Works!”, describing their struggle to reach 1,7 million signatures.
This ECI was launched by national pro-life movements to put the issue of life onthe EU agenda. It asks the EU not to finance activities that destroy human embryos. It is an atypical example of an extraordinarily well-coordinated and successful campaign run by highly motivatedvolunteers who collected the majority of signatures on paper, rather than online. Like other ECIcampaigns, it encountered challenges with the online collection system, limited financial resources,building an EU-wide network and attracting media coverage
This ECI was launched to make environmental destruction a crime in the EU. Run entirely by volunteers with a limited budget, it nonetheless collected over 100,000 signatures. Personal data requirements deterred many potential supporters. The campaign also struggled with the flawed online collection system, cumbersome paper forms, misinformed national authorities, low public awareness of the ECI tool, insufficient preparation time and no legal structure to allow fundraising or shield committee members from personal liability.