Register now for “An ECI that Works!” 5 December 2013 in Brussels

November 1, 2013 News

Dear ECI Organizers and Friends,

We warmly invite you to register to attend the full day workshop in Brussels An ECI that Works!. As an ECI pioneer, your experience, knowledge and insight into using the European Citizens’ Initiative are invaluable.

During this workshop, together we will review the experiences of the first European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) campaigns with an eye to identifying what might be done to ensure that the ECI really works for organizers and EU citizens.We will consider both potential practical supports and regulatory changes – with a special focus on preparing for the revision of the ECI regulation by the European Parliament and Council in 2015.

Join us in Brussels:
An ECI That Works! Workshop
Thursday, 5 December 2013
9:00 – 18:00
European Economic and Social Committee(EESC), Room JDI 61, 6thfloor
Rue Belliard 99, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Please register by 10 November 2013. Please indicate the full names of all attendees, as well asthe name of your organization and/or ECI Campaign.

Learning from this workshop will be combined with articles written by ECI campaigns and experts, to be published in a companion publication of the same name in early 2014. Please check the Call for Article Proposals on the European Citizens’ Initiative.

We look forward to seeing you in Brussels and together identifying how we might ensure that the ECI can work for the people of the EU! Please note that space is limited. Priority will be given to organizers of ECI campaigns.

Carsten Berg and Janice Thomson / ECI Campaign

Background on “An ECI That Works!” Workshop and Publication

By 5 December 2013, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) instrument will be nearing its two year anniversary and the first ECI campaigns will have completed their one year signature collection period. Thanks to the ECIs that have been launched, we now have very valuable information from practical experience to analyze. Many activists and stakeholders have noted weaknesses in the ECI rules, as well as experienced problems with ECI support tools, such as the online signature collection software.

The regulation implementing the ECI will be up for review by the European Parliament and Council in early 2015. Therefore, now is the perfect time to begin to prepare for this review and develop recommendations based on the real-world experience of ECI organizers, supported by the research and knowledge of experts.

During a day-long workshop in Brussels on 5 December 2013 centered on the experiences of the first ECI campaigns, we will seek to identify which regulatory changes and practical supports are most needed.

Learning from this workshop will be complimented by a publication bringing together stories of individual ECI campaigns and insights of experts. Together, the workshop and publication will provide clear guidance to EU officials and democracy advocates as to how to ensure that the ECI can work for EU citizens.

The ECI Campaign, headed by Carsten Berg, has shepherded the development of the ECI since it was first proposed to the EU Constitutional Convention in 2002. It worked to ensure its inclusion in the Lisbon Treaty and then lobbied the EU Parliament and Council for a user-friendly implementing regulation. It has supported organizations and groups of individuals to use the ECI. It will continue to lobby EU institutions and national governments to improve the user-friendliness of the ECI. The ECI Campaign is deeply committed to ensuring that the ECI fulfills its promise of empowering EU citizens to influence the legislative agenda of the EU!