Good news for ECI organizers: No ID requirements in Luxembourg anymore – a model for 17 Member States
Good news for ECI Organizers and European citizens. Luxembourg, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland have announced that they will reduce cumbersome data requirements for ECIs. The ECI Campaign has rallied strongly in recent years for such reforms in the ECI instrument, i.e., to simplify the signature form and eliminate ID requirements.
For the time being 18 member states currently still oblige their citizens to provide personal identification numbers when signing an ECI. Such intrusive personal data requirements are frequently unnecessary, deter support and raise privacy concerns. Even the European Data Protection Supervisor concluded that it would not be necessary to collect ID card numbers from citizens who wished to support an ECI.
The ECI Campaign thus strongly welcomes the latest developments, in particular in Luxembourg, and urges all remaining 17 member states, still requiring ID numbers, to follow this line. While it was not initially clear if these new rules could be applied to the ongoing ECIs or only to the future ECIs, Gilles Feith from the Luxembourg certification authorities has confirmed today:
“Hence OCS instances hosted by the CE in Luxembourg will be updated (if organizers wish so) as of the moment the new annexes are adopted. Paper forms of the old and new annexes will be accepted for the running initiatives.” This means the ID-number requirement can be dropped in Luxembourg for all running ECIs, once the new annexes are adopted.
However the modification to the annexes will be done only after Croatia joins the EU on July 1st. This is too late for many of the running ECIs to profit from the new rules. Unfortunately the modifications in other countries like Spain and France are only little and remain very user-unfriendly asking for ID numbers:
– France will only slightly reduce the list of ID requirements and add place of residence and date of birth.
– Spain is going to remove the address and will add the NIE [the ID card for foreigners]
– The Netherlands is going to allow Dutch people living abroad to sign.
– Ireland is also reviewing its criteria.
UPDATE ON NEW ECI DATA REQUIREMENTS:
We have received the following from the European Commission indicating that the new data requirement will enter in to force later than expected:
A Commission delegated act is necessary to modify Annex III to the Regulation. The procedure for such delegated act to be adopted and enter into force is described in Articles 16 to 19 of the ECI regulation (in brief: once adopted by the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council have two months to raise objections – the act is published and enters into force only if there is no objection).
Organisers have to wait until this delegated act enters into force before being able to use the new requirements. The entry into force of this act is not related to Croatia’s accession and it is likely to be after 1st July.
The modifications for Croatia will be made through another act (together with other elements to be adapted in EU legislation) which will enter into force on the day of Croatia’s accession.