Research activities on European Citizens‘ Initiative increase

2013-07-30 News

A growing number of researchers from the fields of law, political science, sociology and European studies are turning their academic attention to the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) instrument. This does not come as a surprise, since by now – 16 months after the ECI entered into force – substantial empirical data on the ECI is becoming available, which students and researchers can begin to analyze and explore.

The ECI-related research topics being investigated vary widely and include questions such as: in how far have the official promises of citizen engagement via the ECI been fulfilled? to what extent can the ECI make an impact on the democratic legitimacy deficit of the EU? and to what extent can the effectiveness of the ECI be guaranteed and strengthened? The questions are usually presented within a general research framework covering democratic theory – in particular participatory, direct and deliberative democracy, the notion of legitimacy, representation and popular participation, as well as EU citizenship and the power of social movements.

As for The ECI Campaign – an NGO that works to ensure successful implementation of the ECI instrument – research is an important basis for its work, in particular when it comes to preparing the official revision of the ECI instrument in 2015. Thanks to Pawel Glogowski and further ECI researchers, The ECI Campaign’s research bibliography has been updated extensively, see here. If you are publishing your own research results or have found other valuable sources, please let us know so that we can include them.

Given the frequent requests The ECI Campaign has also up-dated its section “Ongoing ECIs” including new registered ECIs and the number of reported signatures, see here.

ECI researchers will also meet at a conference in Bordeaux. Here you can find an overview of the ECI Panel and information on the application procedure. On December 5th The ECI Campaign will hold a conference in Brussels focusing on the first completed ECI cycle (deadline of first ECIs ends November 1st) and the needed revision of the ECI rules.