12-month Deadline Extension for ECIs

2012-10-11 News

Today the EU commission has informed again ECI Organizers about the extension of the 12 months deadline for collecting signatures. This however has caused questions in some Member States about the validity of signatures. The ECI Campaign urgently calls for a pragmatic and quick solution in and with Member States, so that ECI Organizers have a save ground to continue their ECI campaigns. Read the letter below sent to ECI Organizers.

Dear ECI Organisers,

As a follow up to the letter sent by Mr Juraj Nocar on behalf VP Maroš Šefčovič to the Organisers of the then registered citizens’ initiatives on 12 July 2012, I would like to provide you with some additional information concerning the extension of the deadline for the collection of statements of support offered by the Commission to the Organisers of the first registered ECIs.

As you already know, this solution, proposed in the light of the problems you have encountered in setting up your systems for the online collection of statements of support, is meant to allow you to use the maximum part of the 12 months for the collection of your statements of support. The exact scope of the extension was to be set once the hosting environment offered by the Commission became fully operational. It has been agreed that the extension will consist in setting the same closure date for the collection of statements of support for all the proposed initiatives registered by the date it is announced, independently of whether or not they intend to use the hosting environment offered by the Commission. Statements of support that have already been collected will remain valid.

We would like to inform you that this closure date will be around 1 November 2013 and will be announced by the Commission in the coming days. Please note that as regards the subsequent validation of the statements of support collected after the deadline of one year after formal registration of the initiative (e.g. statements collected between May and November 2013 for an initiative which was registered in May 2012), the modalities of the implementation of this measure are still under discussion with the Member States. As some Member States doubt that these statements would be valid under the rules of the Regulation, the solution would, in some cases, be based on an informal process between the Commission and the Member States which would allow us to take into account these statements in the final assessment. We are aware that the Organisers of some of the initiatives concerned, instead of the extension of the 12-month deadline, would simply prefer to have their initiatives registered once again by the Commission. Those who wish to proceed in that way are invited to inform us as soon as possible.

In case the Organisers decide to withdraw their initiative in order to present it once again for registration, and insofar as the newly presented initiative reproduces exactly the original one, the Commission is willing to confer informally with the Organisers so as to agree with them which date within its normal 2-month deadline for registration is most convenient for the ECI Organisers concerned, in view of best fitting in the timing of the certification procedure and to allow the Organisers to benefit to the greatest possible extent from the 12-month period foreseen in the ECI Regulation. It goes without saying that such a choice would invalidate any signatures collected before the new date of registration.

Yours sincerely, MÁRIO TENREIRO, Head of Unit