Mandatory Commission-sponsored public hearings for all successful ECIs

November 1, 2010 News

In the current European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) draft regulation, the European Commission only needs to indicate in a written communication how it will respond to a successful ECI. It can decide at what level it wishes to discuss the ECI with organisers.

If deemed appropriate, a public hearing could be arranged by any EU institution — including powerless consultative bodies (i.e., the Committee of the Regions and EESC). However, the Commission itself is not obligated to hold a hearing.

In practice, a successful ECI with significant public support on a very important issue could lead only to a written communication, small meeting between ECI organisers and low-level Commission staff and a meaningless public hearing sponsored by a powerless EU institution.

One million EU citizens deserve a serious and respectful response from the Commission!

All successful ECIs should result in a mandatory public hearing sponsored by the European Commission itself. Since the Commission has the sole right of initiative for new EU legislation, the Commission should organize a public hearing to openly discuss the content of the ECI with its organisers.

No mandatory Commission hearing = a worthless citizens’ initiative right

In honour of constituency week, each day this week, the ECI Campaign will highlight a different aspect of the draft ECI regulation that must change so EU citizens can in fact exercise their new initiative right.