ECI-News from the European Parliament

July 7, 2010 News

In the meantime the four rapateurs for ECI within the European Parliament have been nominated: Zita Gourmai (S&D) and Alain Lamassoure (EPP) for the Constitutional Committee as well as Vice-President Diana Wallis (ALDE) and Gerald Häfner (Greens) from the Petitions-Committee will draw up a report on the ECI regulation within these months to come. A final decision of the European Parliament is not expected before late autumn. ECI-Campaign is well familiar and in close contact with all four Members of the European Parliament. In fact Diana Wallis and Gerald Häfner (pictures) have helped to set up the ECI-Campaign and Alain Lamassoure was already involved in the Convention on the Future of Europe and contributed together with NGOs to the inclusion of ECI in the Constitutional Treaty and later Lisbon Treaty (read the amazing story behind). Lamassoure and Gourmai have come up with a first working document, which however remains silent about important details (f. ex. the proposed  ID-requirement), in order to make ECI citizen-friendly and accessible to European citizens.

As announced earlier, Diana Wallis and the Liberal group have recently hosted an ECI-seminar with all stakeholders from civil society and institutions, including Vice-President of  the European Commission Maros Sefcovic and Carsten Berg from ECI-Campaign on the panel. The Members of the European Parliament present at this meeting decided to take the time to properly examine the compromise proposal of the Commission and Council.

Carsten Berg from ECI-Campaign has straightforward asked Mr. Sefcovic, why one could not delete the ID-number requirement in all countries, after six countries have dropped this burdensome requirement already. Mr. Sefcovic said, that the proposed ECI-regulation must be indeed improved. Greenpeace representative Jorgo Riss said, that they would not make use of ECI,  if this instrument will not be designed more citizen-friendly. Another output of this seminar was to start a survey on the data required, when citizens are asked to sign a European citizens’ initiative, see here. For a report on this ECI-Seminar, see article in EU-Observer.