……………………………………….Our Guide for the Public Consultation

 

You can use our suggested answers for the questionnaire of the European Commission.
Switch between the questionnaire and the tables below.
(If you prefer to download a pdf version you can do so here.)


Introduction and about you

(This part is mandatory. Please fill it out at your discretion.)

 

The European Citizens’ Initiative and you / General Consideration
This part is also mandatory, first questions to be filled out at your discretion.)Our recommendations start here:
Would you have been more confident in providing your personal data to a public authority instead of to the organisers of the proposed initiative?No
What would make you support a citizens´ initiative? (more than 1 answer possible) - It is a topic which needs EU level action and cannot be handled by my national Government acting alone;
- I want to take part in European democracy and policy making;
- It is important that policy-makers hear the voice of citizens and/or involve grassroots organisations.
Do you consider that the European citizens' initiative has so far achieved its objective of fostering the participation of citizens in the democratic life of the EU and bringing the EU closer to the citizens?Rather disagree
In your view, how important are the following considerations when revising the rules for the European citizens' initiative?
a) Signing an initiative should be as simple as possible (statements of support should be collected in a user-friendly way and the personal data requested should be kept to the minimum needed).Very important
b) The rules and procedures for organising an initiative should not be burdensome and should remain proportionate to the nature of the tool (a tool for citizen participation which does not lead to a binding outcome).Very important
c) Citizens' initiatives should be launched only on issues relevant to citizens in a significant number of member states.Neither important nor unimportant
d) Citizens' initiatives should foster debate and interactions between like-minded citizens across the EU as well as between themselves and the EU institutions. Rather important
e) The rules for giving support to an initiative should allow the use of the best available technology in terms of security and user-friendliness.Very important
f) Other (individual comments, max. 200 caracters) You might like to mention how important the political impact of an ECI is, too, and not only the discussions? (reference to question d)

End of mandatory section. The following parts are optional, covering different aspects of the lifecycle and stages of the ECI.
The following answers will be very helpful:

 

Preparatory phase of a citizens' initiative / Citizens' committee
In accordance with the Regulation, the Commission has established a point of contact which provides information and assistance to organisers. Do you consider that the provision of information and assistance to organisers in this phase should be strengthened?Strongly agree
Assistance to organisers in the preparatory phase should be provided by (more than 1 answer possible) - The Commission through its point of contact ('helpdesk'),
- Independent expert(s), for instance through an online collaborative platform
In your opinion, what would be the best way(s) to limit the liability of organisers?- Reduce the amount of personal data collected from signatories;
- Organisations should be allowed to be part of the citizens' committees;
Do you have any other suggestions for improving this preparatory phase/the citizens' committee? (Space for individual comments, max 500 caracters)
We feel it is important that the liability of the organisers should be reduced (because now they are liable for simply everything during an ECI procedure) You might like to mention this? For example that organisers should only be liable if they act unlawful or with serious negligence?
Registration phase
Should the registration phase continue to include an admissibility check to verify that the proposed initiative does not fall outside the Commission’s powers?Yes
Should the legal assessment indicate that the proposed initiative partly or fully falls outside the Commission's powers:
Organisers should have the possibility to redraft their proposed initiative so that it falls within the Commission's powers, on the basis of a preliminary assessment by the Commission. They could then collect statements of support on the basis of the redrafted initiative, once legally cleared.
In order to redraft their proposed initiative, the organisers should have the possibility to be assisted by: (more than 1 answer possible)Independent expert(s), for instance through an online collaborative platform;An officer within the Commission with an independent and impartial role for the European citizens' initiative ('hearing officer”)
Other suggestions for improving the registration phase?We wrote that the Court should decide within maximal 6 months, if the commission says an ECI is inadmissible (outside their competence), but the organisers want to challenge this at the Court. You might like to suggest something like this as well?
Collection phase
The hosting of online collection systems exceptionally offered by the Commission should be:Made permanent and simplified (transformed into an online collection platform readily available for organisers upon registration, without the need for a certification) while still remaining optional.
If you were to organise an initiative and the Commission offered an online collection system free of charge with no need for certification, which option would you choose? I would build my own system and get it certified by the relevant national authority.
To which extent do you agree on the importance of using new solutions for electronic identification such as eID or electronic signature for supporting initiatives?Rather agree
Would these electronic identification solutions make the online collection more user-friendly for citizens and organisers?Yes, to some extent
To which extent do you agree that several ways for providing support to an initiative online (filling the form online, using eID, using other e-identification solutions) should be available in parallel in order to maximise the user-friendliness of the tool? Strongly agree
Collection in paper form: In the case of a single online platform to gather support, how should the collection of statements of support in paper form be organised?Organisers should collect statements in paper form and send them to the competent national authorities for verification at the end of the collection period. At the same time, they should have the possibility to record the number of statements collected on the online platform during the collection process;
Requirements for signatories: In your view, should EU citizens residing outside the EU be allowed to support a European citizens' initiative?Yes
In your view, what should be the minimum age to give support to an initiative? It should be harmonised at 16.
Personal data to be provided by signatories and subsequent verification process
In your view, what should be verified in relation to the signatories' personal data? Please keep in mind that a citizens' initiative is a tool for citizen participation which does not lead to a binding outcome.
a) that data is not entered by a robot and that the overall probability of having entered fake data is below predetermined thresholds (based on data analysis techniques);Yes
b) that a person corresponding to the data provided exists;Yes
c) that the person is eligible to support a citizens' initiative;Yes
d) that the person has provided his/her own data (that he/she did not introduce someone else's data fraudulently);Yes
e) that this person has not supported an initiative more than once;Yes
Among the following types of personal data, which one(s) would you not be willing to provide when giving your support to a European citizens' initiative? (more than 1 answer possible)b) Name at birth;
d) Place of birth;
g) Personal identification (document) number;
h) Driving license number
i) The last three digits of your personal identification (document) number /driving license number
j) Email address
Which types of personal data do you think citizens would not be willing to provide when giving support to a European citizens' initiative? How does this vary between member states? (max 1000 caracters)
The current Regulation sets out different data requirements for signatories depending on the member states (see above). Among the following options, which one do you think would be the most user-friendly?Requiring the same set of personal data in all member states. Then signatories may be contacted to provide additional personal data depending on the country they come from, for verification purposes;
According to you, who needs to have access to the signatories' personal data?Organisers or other persons acting on their behalf who collect the statements of support and the public authorities in charge of their verification;
Should signatories be kept informed about the initiative they have signed and its follow-up, for example by email?a) Yes, by the organisers;
b) Yes, by the Commission;
c) Signatories should have the option to receive general information about the European citizens' initiative, including on other initiatives they might be interested in
Time limit for the collection of support: Should the time limit for collecting statements of support (12 months from the date of registration) be revised?Yes
In your view, how should the time limit be changed?It should be extended to 18 months and it should be possible for the organisers to choose the start date of their collection within a given time period
Do you have any other suggestions for improving the process of collection of statements of support and their verification?Individual comment (max 500 caracters)We feel that it is really important that organisers can decide when exactly they start their collection phase. Because this is the basis for a successful and motivating launch of the campaign.And we feel that it should be possible that citizens can give their email address and receive more information. But we do not want to give email address as mandatory for the verification of our signatories.You might wish to mention this too?
Submission to the Commission and follow-up
Do you think that there should be a time limit for the submission of a successful initiative to the Commission?Yes
In your view, what should be this time limit?Between six months and one year from the end of the collection
According to you, what would be the best way(s) to ensure that stakeholders representing different views are heard before the Commission replies to the initiative? (more than 1 answer possible)The Commission should be given more time before its reply so that it can consult widely and transparently (for example by organising an open public consultation)
Other (Individual answer, max.500 caracters) We wrote that the hearings in the European Parliament should be reserved for the organisers and not include the critics at the same time. You might wish to highlight this too.
Should the European Parliament and the Council be invited to express their views before the Commission takes position on a successful initiative?Yes
Do you have any other suggestions for improving the examination procedure and the possible follow-up to initiatives that have reached the required number of signatories? (Individual answer, max 1000 caracters) We feel that the follow-up to an ECI should be more powerful. This is why we think a vote of the European Parliament (plenary) would be an important signal. The resolution of the EP should then be go to the Commission, as a recommendation for the upcoming decision. You might like the idea and support it with your remarks?
Transparency and awareness-raising
What more could be done to better inform citizens and communicate on the European citizens' initiative? (Individual answer, 750 caracters) We recommended an online Public Participation Platform, to support campaigning and participation and make it possible to widely increase the outreach to EU citizens.
Further comments or suggestions
(Individual answers, max 1000 caracters) We mentioned another important issue: that any adult EU citizen should be able to sign an ECI. At the time being, Irish and British citizens can not sign if they live in another country than their home country, but this is simply not acceptable! You might support the issue?