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The European Citizens’ Initiative

Reconsidering citizen engagement in the European Union

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

The European Citizens’ Initiative

Reconsidering citizen engagement in the European Union

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Emerging during the negotiations for the unratified Constitutional Treaty and officially launched with the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Citizens' Initiative allows citizens to invite the European Commission to propose legislation to the European
Parliament and the Council based on an idea which gathers the support of no less than one million citizens coming from at least seven Member States. The instrument was originally met with much enthusiasm but caused disillusionment among civil
society actors during its first years of implementation as it proved to be a very burdensome, and ultimately ineffectual process, since none of the initiatives succeeded to develop into a legislative motion.
In light of such criticism, the Commission decided to review the instrument and submitted in September 2017 a proposal for a new regulation laying down the rules of implementation. The present paper had the aim to examine to what extent the
proposed changes by the Commission will enhance citizen participation. By reviewing facts and figures of the ECI Official Register, conclusions were made about what the instrument has achieved until now. A determination of what led to the need
of reform was made by listing and considering challenges and shortcomings invoked by organizers. Finally, opinions of stakeholders were consulted to assess whether the Commission's new regulation will contribute significantly to citizen
participation. It can be concluded that the proposed changes include pertinent amendments. However, the proposal does not seem to be tackling the core problem - the lack of impact of the European Citizens' Initiative.
It was therefore suggested to consider two alternative directions the device could take to approach the issue of lack of meaningful follow-up. In this context, the focus of these two directions would be participation and deliberation. Were the
instrument to have as an end goal participation, it should be accorded some authority to bind the institutions once enough signatures are gathered. Alternatively, the Citizens' Initiative could focus on qualitative and impartial debate. Either direction
is beyond the revision provided by the Commission. It is now for the Parliament to examine the proposal of a new regulation, deliberate on it and decide on its adoption.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2018
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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