Initiative for the
European Citizens' Initiative
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.
Xavier Dutoit is the IT professional who developed the online campaign and signature collectiontools for the first successful ECI – Right 2 Water. He has been a tireless advocate for a campaign-and user-friendly ECI Online Collection System (OCS). In this edited interview with The ECI Campaign coordinator Carsten Berg he explains why the current OCS needs to be scrapped and rebuilt.
You can find more samples of our upcoming publication “An ECI That Works” at: ECIThatWorks.org
Water and Sanitation are a Human Right! Water is a Public Good, not a Commodity! – Jerry Van den Berge
“An ECI That Works! Learning from the first two years of the European Citizens Initiative” will be released on 15 April 2014 for ECI Day at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. In anticipation of ECI Day, we’re giving you a taste of the rich learning and clear guidance for reform inside “An ECI That Works!”. We’ll feature one of the publication’s 36 articles each day between now and the 15th of April.
The first article is from Jerry Van den Berge, policy officer with EPSU and coordinator of the “Water is a Human Right!” ECI campaign.
The Right2Water ECI, the first to collect one million validated signatures, was started by EPSU to put the human right to water and sanitation on the EU agenda and prevent the liberalisation of water services. Although its ultimate impact is uncertain, public support for the campaign led the Commission to remove water from the EU concessions directive. This unusually well-prepared, professionally managed and well-resourced ECI attracted a diverse coalition of partners and major media attention. Yet, like other ECIs, it struggled with an inadequate online signature collection system, intrusive ID requirements and limited citizen awareness of the ECI.
It has been two years since the introduction of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), the first tool for transnational participatory and digital democracy in world history. To celebrate and boost its developments, The ECI Campaign has produced a new publication, An ECI That Works!. On 15 April 2014, printed copies will be available at The ECI Day conference in Brussels. A complete online version will also be available at that time at www.ecithatworks.org where you can find already today an assessment by the ECI Right2Water, the view of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EU Commission and further ECI stakeholders. More…
Today, almost two years after registration, and collecting 1,659,543 signatures from EU citizens, the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative, ‘Right2Water’, obtained an official response from Maroš Šefcovic, the European commissioner for inter-institutional relations and administration, who is in charge of handling ECIs:
“Europe’s citizens have spoken, and today the Commission gave a positive response. Water quality, infrastructure, sanitation and transparency will all benefit – for people in Europe and in developing countries – as a direct result of this first ever exercise in pan-European, citizen-driven democracy. I congratulate the organisers on their achievement.” More…
Two years after the launch of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) and one year before the revision of the implementing regulation 211/2011, the ECI Day 2014 becomes an excellent opportunity to look into the first successful and complete ECI processes, to discuss the best practices and to set up a list of recommendations that can raise the efficiency of this instrument of participatory democracy and make it more citizens friendly. More…
On Monday, February 17, the historic public hearing for ECI Right2Water – Europe’s first successful European Citizens’ Initiative – took place in the European Parliament in the presence of the Vice-President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic. At this well-attended hearing the organizers of the Right2Water campaign urged the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation and declare it as a human right. Most speakers also raised more generally the ECI and European democracy, given the historic nature of this first ECI hearing (which you can watch again here). More…
The Public Hearing for ECI Right2Water – Europe’s first successful European Citizens’ Initiative – will take place Monday, 17 February from 15h00 to 18h30, in room JAN4Q2 in the European Parliament. It will be chaired by the Environment Committee and will also involve the Petitions Committee (PETI), the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), and the Development Committee (DEVE). Over 300 people from across Europe have registered to follow the debate in Brussels. The event also is web-streamed. More…