Maros Sefcovic: the chance for a “real voice”

January 19, 2010 News

Yesterday, there was quite an interesting hearing within the European Parliament. Slovakia’s commissioner-designate, Maros Sefcovic, who will be responsible for ECI, was scrutinized by MEPs. Sefcovic received lots of questions about the remoteness of the EU from citizens. Gerald Häfner’s question, many of you might remember him from ECI-Campaign, was one of the first one on ECI.

Sefcovic mostly emphasized, that he would have regulations to implement the ECI in place quickly – draft legislation by early Spring. There will be a big public debate on the ECI on 22 February (the hearing of civil society). He said each ECI would have to be registered, completed within a time limit of one year. The Commission would have to respond in a “reasonable time”. He said that there were still many areas of the ECI on which they are “still looking for good answers”. He said he wanted to make sure the ECI gave citizens “a real voice” (and seemed sincere).

The Council (Ministers of European Affairs) has given him already its proposal how to design ECI. In case someone of you has by chance received this paper, it would be great, if you send it to me. Maros Sefcovic promised to try and have a legislative proposal on the “citizens initiative” already by March or April.

You can watch the video of the hearing on the EP website – – in any of the official 21 EU languages on the EP website.