Open letter from ECI organisers to the European Parliament

2015-10-27 News

Dear President Schulz and Members of European Parliament,

The fate of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is in your hands. You will soon vote on EP Report 2014/2257 which asks the Commission to revise the ECI Regulation 2011/211 to make the ECI both easier to use and more impactful.

We urge you to vote “yes” to this report as is, with no amendments.

Our ECI campaigns were supported by millions of EU citizens who believed in the promise of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). We believed it could bridge the gap between citizens and EU institutions. It hasn’t. We thought the ECI would be easy to use. It wasn’t. We were sure that if our ECI succeeded, the Commission would respond by proposing new legislation. It didn’t.

You have the power to change all this. You can help the ECI to fulfil its promise of connecting EU citizens and institutions. You can make it easier to use. You can ensure that successful ECIs have an impact. Now more than ever, the EU needs what the ECI can offer: the ideas and involvement of its citizens, shared European goals to overcome national divisions and proof that EU leaders are committed to strengthening democracy.

MEPs have been listening to our experiences and concerns. They have drafted a powerful report that, if implemented, will dramatically improve the ECI. This report was approved unanimously by the AFCO committee. Now we urge all MEPs to approve this report, without any amendment.

Proposed amendments do not improve this report. They weaken it. In particular, amendment 4 to paragraph 30 allows the Commission to continue to ignore successful ECIs. It betrays the ECI’s promise of participatory democracy.

The ECI was created by an alliance between Parliamentarians and civil society. We now look to Parliamentarians to save it. Approving the AFCO committee’s ECI report, without amendment, will send a strong signal to the European Commission that the ECI must be strengthened — for the sake of the Union.

See 12 Ways to Build an ECI That Works for a list of necessary reforms. You can also read our stories in An ECI That Works.

Our press release / Download the letter in pdf

Signed by 23 European Citizens’ Initiatives:

    1. Fraternité 2020 – Mobility. Progress. Europe
    2. Water and sanitation are a human right! Water is a public good, not a commodity!
    3. One of us
    4. Stop vivisection
    5. High Quality European Education for All
    6. Pour une gestion responsable des déchets, contre les incinérateurs
    7. Central public online collection platform for the European Citizen Initiative
    8. 30 km/h – making the streets liveable!
    9. Single Communication Tariff Act
    10. Unconditional Basic Income (UBI)
    11. End Ecocide in Europe: A Citizens’ Initiative to give the Earth Rights
    12. ACT 4 Growth
    13. Teach for Youth – Upgrade to Erasmus 2.0
    14. European Initiative for Media Pluralism
    15. Weed like to talk
    16. European Free Vaping Initiative
    17. New Deal 4 Europe – For a European Special Plan for Sustainable Development and Employment
    18. An end to front companies in order to secure a fairer Europe
    19. For a socially fair Europe! Encouraging a stronger cooperation between EU Member States to fight poverty in Europe
    20. « On The Wire »
    22. Fair Transport Europe – equal treatment for all transport workers
    23. Stop Plastic in the Sea

See also our open letter to Mr. Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission