Join: “A European Citizens’ Initiative for the Next Generation”

September 12, 2014 News

Invitation

Please register by 26 September 2014 via contact@citizens-initiative.eu and indicate full names of attendees, age, the name of your organization/ECI Campaign + any other relevant information.

Dear friends and colleagues,

The ECI Campaign together with End Ecocide and further completed ECIs warmly invites you to participate in a half-day workshop in Brussels on Tuesday, 14 October 2014. We will explore what can be done to ensure that the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) will work for future organizers using the world’s first tool of participatory, transnational and digital democracy. The workshop will be held in the afternoon from 14.00-18.00 at the Mundo B (Rue d’Edimbourg 26, 1050, Brussels).

By 14 October 2014, the ECI instrument will have been in place for two and a half years. Meanwhile the first 21 ECI campaigns have completed their one year signature collection period, while three are still ongoing. At the same time, new ECIs are just about to be launched. Thanks to these ECIs, we now have very valuable information from practical experience to analyze and learn from.

In what has been a hard “learning-by-doing” exercise, many ECI organizers realized how challenging it is to run a successful transnational campaign in terms of management and organisation. Other proposed ECIs (in fact 20 out of 44 ECIs) failed already at the first step of registration and could not even start an ECI as recently happened to the ECI “Stop TTIP”.  Those who could start an ECI not only noted weaknesses in the ECI rules but have also experienced problems with the official ECI support tools, such as the online signature collection software making it a huge challenge to run a successful ECI.

New activists can now build on the treasure trove of their experience and knowledge which we hope to see transferred at this event. In mixed groups comprising experienced and new ECI organisers, policy-makers of the EU institutions and ECI campaigners, we will also discuss some of the most challenging questions regarding the future of the ECI legislation.

The regulation implementing the ECI will be up for review by the European Parliament and the Council in early 2015. Now is the perfect time to begin preparing for this review and to develop recommendations based on the real-world experience of ECI organizers and the expectations of young people so it can work for the next ECI generations to come. We would therefore very much appreciate your presence in Brussels on 14 October 2014. It’s about democracy in Europe!

AGENDA

14.00 – 14.15 – Opening and Welcome

by Prisca Merz, End Ecocide and Carsten Berg, The ECI Campaign

14.15 – 15.00 – Introductions

ECI organisers’ presentations on successful ECI management and involvement of young people in their ECI

15.00 – 16.30 – Group Discussions

Topics include: Involvement of young people in ECIs (as organisers or signatories), improvement of the ECI legislation with a view to the upcoming reform, particular challenges faced by volunteers-led ECIs, social media and online campaigning. If you are interested in discussing a particular topic additional to these suggestions, please get in touch.

16.30 – 17.00 – Presentation of group discussion outcomes

17.00 – 18.00 – Closing Panel Discussion

Confirmed participants: Charlotte Rive (European Commission), Tina Nilsson (leading the ECI investigation by the European Ombudswoman), Anne-Marie Sigmund (president of the ECI ad hoc group in the EESC), Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann (MEP Member of the European Parliament Constitutional Affairs Committee) and Michael Efler (Mehr Demokratie, ECI STOP TTIP).

No registration fee | Lunch not included

Tuesday, 14 October 2014, 14:00-18:00

Mundo B, Rue d’Edimbourg 26, 1050 Ixelles, Brussels

This event is organized by End Ecocide and The ECI Campaign, grateful for support from the EU’s Youth in Action Programme and the Citizens for Europe.

Please note that this is a draft agenda, subject to change.