Amended open letter from ECI organisers to the European Parliament Re: EP Report 2014/2257 (Schöpflin/AFCO report on the ECI)

2015-10-28 News

Dear President Schulz and Members of European Parliament,

You will soon vote on EP Report 2014/2257 which asks the Commission to revise Regulation 2011/211 to make the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) both easier to use and more impactful.

We urge you to vote “yes” to this report.

We also urge you to carefully consider proposed amendments. Because the ECI report unanimously approved by the AFCO committee was so strong, we originally opposed any amendment. However, three new amendments have just been tabled that will strengthen the ECI even more and do much to restore citizen confidence in the instrument.

We urge you to vote “yes” to amendments from:
– Terricabras and Goerens to paragraph 15 to allow ECIs to address primary law
– Terricabras to paragraph 30 so all successful ECIs lead to a legislative proposal
– Terricabras to paragraph 32 so the EP follows up when the Commission does not act

We urge you to vote “no” to the amendment from:
– Schöpflin and Kaufmann to paragraph 30 limiting Commission action to ECIs with which it agrees.
This allows the Commission to continue to ignore successful ECIs.

Our ECI campaigns were supported by millions of EU citizens who believed in the ECI’s promise of participatory democracy. We believed it could bridge the gap between citizens and EU institutions. It hasn’t. We thought the ECI would be easy to use. It wasn’t. We were sure that if our ECI succeeded, the Commission would respond by proposing new legislation. It didn’t. You have the power to change all this.

Now more than ever, the EU needs what the ECI can offer: the ideas and involvement of its citizens, shared European goals to overcome national divisions and proof that EU leaders are committed to strengthening democracy.

The ECI was created by an alliance between Parliamentarians and civil society. We now look to Parliamentarians to save it.