BETA


2014/2257(INI) European citizens' initiative

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFCO SCHÖPFLIN György (icon: PPE PPE) KAUFMANN Sylvia-Yvonne (icon: S&D S&D), UJAZDOWSKI Kazimierz Michał (icon: ECR ECR), GOERENS Charles (icon: ALDE ALDE), TERRICABRAS Josep-Maria (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), CASTALDO Fabio Massimo (icon: EFDD EFDD)
Committee Opinion JURI KAUFMANN Sylvia-Yvonne (icon: S&D S&D)
Committee Opinion PETI BECERRA BASTERRECHEA Beatriz (icon: ALDE ALDE) Pál CSÁKY (icon: PPE PPE), Notis MARIAS (icon: ECR ECR), Josep-Maria TERRICABRAS (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), Ángela VALLINA (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2016/03/15
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2015/10/28
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2015/10/28
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 527 votes to 39 with 103 abstentions, a resolution on the European Citizens’ Initiative. Members welcomed the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), which was a new political right for citizens as well as a unique and innovative agenda-setting tool for participatory democracy in the European Union, allowing citizens to play an active part in projects, and processes that affect them. Members considered that the ECI should be encouraged and supported by all available means , whilst recognising the need to make it more effective. Evaluation of the ECI: the resolution notes that more than six million EU citizens had participated in an ECI, that there were 51 requests to launch an initiative , of which only three – the ‘Right2Water’, ‘One of Us’ and ‘Stop Vivisection’ initiatives – were deemed admissible . Experience had shown that the majority of organisers of ECIs had encountered a number of difficulties in setting up an ECI, in relation to both practical and legal aspects.

Three years on from the entry into application of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 , Members considered it necessary to evaluate its implementation thoroughly in order to identify any shortcomings and to propose viable solutions for its prompt revision.

Raising public awareness and giving the ECI a higher profile : pointing out the importance of public awareness of the ECI in order for it to be an effective tool for democratic participation, Members called on the Commission to use all public communication channels to raise awareness, and to take the necessary measures to ensure the transparency of the ECI and facilitate communication relating to current ECIs, for example by creating applications that provide information, send notifications and allow online signing. Member States’ national parliaments should mention the ECI on their official website.

The Commission was called upon to make its software for the online collection of signatures more user-friendly , to make it accessible to people with disabilities, to offer its own servers for the storage of online signatures for free on a permanent basis, using existing EU budgets. There was a need to link the online collection of signatures to the relevant new social and digital media campaigning tools . Parliament called on the Commission to support the development of an open-source dedicated ECI software program for mobile devices.

Improve information to organisers : the Commission was called upon to:

provide appropriate and comprehensive guidance – especially of a legal nature – as early as possible to the organisers of ECIs through the Europe Direct Contact Centre, so that organisers are aware of the possibilities open to them and will not fail by proposing an ECI that is manifestly outside the Commission’s powers and does not comply with the legal admissibility criteria. Consideration should be given to the possibility of establishing another independent body tasked with giving advice; consider setting up a dedicated ECI office at its representations in each Member State to provide all the necessary information, advice and support for ECIs. A dedicated ECI office could also contribute to raising public and media awareness about the ECI; explain in detail the reasons for rejecting an ECI in order: (i) that the validity and complete objectivity of those elements can be subjected to legal scrutiny, (ii) that the Commission’s power of discretion as judge and party in the assessment of an initiative’s admissibility can be reduced as far as possible, and; (iii) that the organisers can decide whether to revise their ECI and resubmit it in a modified form; explore ways of referring initiatives, or those parts of initiatives, that did not fall within the scope of the Commission's powers to the competent authority, be it at national or regional level.

Moreover, Parliament called for the provision of more detailed guidelines on the interpretation of legal bases and of more information on data protection requirements in each Member State in which the organisers run their campaigns.

Improving user-friendliness : Parliament called for the improvement of the multilingual ECI website run by the Commission and for a single set of guidelines in all the EU’s official languages on the rights and obligations of ECI organisers and on the administrative procedures applicable throughout the ECI process.

In this regard, the resolution called for the future establishment of a physical and online ‘one-stop shop’ providing, on a permanent basis, information, translation services and technical, legal and political support for ECIs.

Members called on the Commission to recommend to the Member States that they lower the age for supporting and participating in an ECI from 18 to 16 and that it not to be tied to the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament, thus giving young people, in particular, the possibility of becoming actively involved in taking the European project forward.

Personal data: Parliament deemed it too complicated for organisers to provide different personal data in support of ECIs in the 28 Member States. It called for the standardisation of the nature of the data collected in the Member States and encouraged the Commission to negotiate further with Member States with a view to reducing the number of data requirements and making them more user-friendly.

Follow-up to ECIs: Parliament asked the Commission to revise the wording of Article 10(c) of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 to allow proper follow-up to a successful ECI. It urged the Commission to start preparing a legal act on successful ECIs within 12 months after issuing a positive opinion. Should the Commission fail to put forward a legislative proposal within this 12-month period, Parliament and its committees should exercise their right to ask the Commission to submit an appropriate proposal.

Documents
2015/10/28
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2015/10/26
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2015/10/07
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs adopted an own-initiative report by György SCHÖPFLIN (EPP, HU) on the European Citizens’ Initiative.

The Committee on Petitions, exercising its prerogative as an associated committee in line with Article 54 of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament , was also consulted for an opinion on this report.

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a new political right for citizens as well as a unique and innovative agenda-setting tool for participatory democracy in the European Union, allowing citizens to play an active part in projects and processes that affect them.

The report noted that more than six million EU citizens have participated in an ECI, that there were 51 requests to launch an initiative , of which only three – the ‘Right2Water’, ‘One of Us’ and ‘Stop Vivisection’ initiatives – were deemed admissible . The report pointed to the various practical difficulties which organisers have encountered since the entry into force of the regulation in April 2012, and to the fact that the number of initiatives is declining.

Three years on from the entry into application of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on 1 April 2012, Members considered it necessary to evaluate its implementation thoroughly in order to identify any shortcomings and to propose viable solutions for its prompt revision.

Raising public awareness and giving the ECI a higher profile : pointing out the importance of public awareness of the ECI in order for it to be an effective tool for democratic participation, Members called on the Commission to use all public communication channels to raise awareness, and to take the necessary measures to ensure the transparency of the ECI and facilitate communication relating to current ECIs, for example by creating applications that provide information, send notifications and allow online signing. Member States’ national parliaments should mention the ECI on their official website.

The Commission is called upon to make its software for the online collection of signatures more user-friendly , to make it accessible to people with disabilities, to offer its own servers for the storage of online signatures for free on a permanent basis, using existing EU budgets. There is a need to link the online collection of signatures to the relevant new social and digital media campaigning tools .

Improve information to organisers : Members called on the Commission to provide appropriate and comprehensive guidance – especially of a legal nature – as early as possible to the organisers of ECIs through the Europe Direct Contact Centre, so that organisers are aware of the possibilities open to them and will not fail by proposing an ECI that is manifestly outside the Commission’s powers and does not comply with the legal admissibility criteria. The report called for consideration to be given to the possibility of establishing another independent body tasked with giving advice. The Commission should consider setting up a dedicated ECI office at its representations in each Member State to provide all the necessary information, advice and support for ECIs. A dedicated ECI office could also contribute to raising public and media awareness about the ECI.

Moreover, the report called for the provision of more detailed guidelines on the interpretation of legal bases and of more information on data protection requirements in each Member State in which the organisers run their campaigns.

Acknowledging the many complaints from organisers about not having received detailed and exhaustive reasons for the rejection of their ECIs, Members invited the Commission to explain in detail the reasons for rejecting an ECI in order: (i) that the validity and complete objectivity of those elements can be subjected to legal scrutiny, (ii) that the Commission’s power of discretion as judge and party in the assessment of an initiative’s admissibility can be reduced as far as possible, and; (iii) that the organisers can decide whether to revise their ECI and resubmit it in a modified form.

The Commission is invited to explore ways of referring initiatives, or those parts of initiatives, that do not fall within the scope of the Commission's powers to the competent authority, be it at national or regional level.

Improving user-friendliness : Members called for the improvement of the multilingual ECI website run by the Commission and for a single set of guidelines in all the EU’s official languages on the rights and obligations of ECI organisers and on the administrative procedures applicable throughout the ECI process.

In this regard, the report called for the future establishment of a physical and online ‘one-stop shop’ providing, on a permanent basis, information, translation services and technical, legal and political support for ECIs.

Members called on the Commission to recommend to the Member States that they lower the age for supporting and participating in an ECI from 18 to 16 and that it not to be tied to the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament, thus giving young people, in particular, the possibility of becoming actively involved in taking the European project forward.

Personal data : Members deemed it too complicated for organisers to provide different personal data in support of ECIs in the 28 Member States. They called for the standardisation of the nature of the data collected in the Member States and encouraged the Commission to negotiate further with Member States with a view to reducing the number of data requirements and making them more user-friendly.

Acknowledging the delicate problem of organisers’ personal liability with regard to data protection when collecting signatories’ personal data, the report proposed that the range of data required be reduced and that the wording Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, on liability, be changed to make it clear that personal liability is not unlimited.

Public hearings : in order to emphasise the political dimension of ECIs, Members suggested that a public hearing, under the terms of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, should be structured in such a way as to allow organisers to engage in a dialogue with Members of the European Parliament and relevant Commission officials. Hearings on ECIs should be organised under the auspices of a 'neutral' committee that does not have the main responsibility for their subject-matter in terms of content, and furthermore that external experts should be involved at all times.

The Commission is invited to report regularly to Parliament on the state of play of ongoing ECIs.

Documents
2015/09/28
   EP - Vote in committee
2015/07/16
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2015/07/01
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2015/05/22
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2015/03/26
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2015/02/24
   EP - KAUFMANN Sylvia-Yvonne (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2015/01/15
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2015/01/15
   EP - Referral to associated committees announced in Parliament
2014/11/21
   EP - BECERRA BASTERRECHEA Beatriz (ALDE) appointed as rapporteur in PETI
2014/11/06
   EP - SCHÖPFLIN György (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in AFCO

Documents

Activities

Votes

A8-0284/2015 - György Schöpflin - Am 2 #

2015/10/28 Outcome: -: 572, +: 66, 0: 20
IE CY LU LT LV EE MT SI NL EL AT HR DK SK BG HU FI BE CZ SE FR PT RO PL IT ES GB DE
Total
10
4
4
8
6
6
6
8
23
17
18
10
11
10
11
18
13
20
14
19
68
21
27
46
70
46
60
83
icon: ENF ENF
38

Belgium ENF

For (1)

1
2

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
12

France NI

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1

Poland NI

1

United Kingdom NI

Against (1)

1

Germany NI

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
38

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1

Sweden EFDD

2

France EFDD

1

Poland EFDD

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
44

Ireland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

4

Cyprus GUE/NGL

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1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Denmark GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Finland GUE/NGL

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1

Sweden GUE/NGL

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1

France GUE/NGL

3

Italy GUE/NGL

3

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1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
46

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1

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1

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1

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1

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1

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2

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

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1

Denmark Verts/ALE

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1

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1

Finland Verts/ALE

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1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2
4

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5
icon: ECR ECR
58

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1

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2

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1

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2

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1

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2
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61

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1

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3

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1

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3

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2

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1
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173

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1

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1

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3

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2

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2
3

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2

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2

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3
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187

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2

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2

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1

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2

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1

Denmark PPE

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1

A8-0284/2015 - György Schöpflin - Am 6 #

2015/10/28 Outcome: -: 442, +: 221, 0: 12
FR NL IE EE DK LT SE EL BE FI CY LU LV HR SI AT BG MT CZ SK PT HU ES IT RO DE PL GB
Total
68
24
10
6
11
9
19
18
21
13
5
6
7
10
8
18
11
6
15
10
20
19
47
71
27
85
45
65
icon: ALDE ALDE
64

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

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3

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3

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1

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1

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2

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1

Austria ALDE

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1

Bulgaria ALDE

3

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2

United Kingdom ALDE

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
47

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Estonia Verts/ALE

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1

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1

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2

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1

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1

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1

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3

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1
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45

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3

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1

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1

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2

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4

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1
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37

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1
2

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1
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12

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1

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1

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1

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1
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39

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1

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1

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2

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1
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63

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2

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1

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1

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2

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1

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1

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2

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173

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3

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194

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4

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2

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A8-0284/2015 - György Schöpflin - Am 4 #

2015/10/28 Outcome: +: 495, -: 173, 0: 6
DE PL IT RO BE GB CZ ES PT BG FR HU HR SK FI DK SI MT LT SE LV EE NL LU AT IE CY EL
Total
84
46
70
27
21
66
15
46
21
11
67
19
10
10
13
11
8
6
9
19
7
6
24
6
18
10
5
18
icon: PPE PPE
193

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Lithuania PPE

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

3
icon: S&D S&D
173

Czechia S&D

3
4

Croatia S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3

Latvia S&D

1

Estonia S&D

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1

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2

Luxembourg S&D

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1

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1

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1
icon: ALDE ALDE
64

Romania ALDE

2

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1

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3

Croatia ALDE

2

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3

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1

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1

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3

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1

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icon: ECR ECR
64

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2

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1

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3
2

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1

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1

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2

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icon: NI NI
12

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1

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1

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1

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1
3
icon: ENF ENF
36

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2

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1

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1

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4
icon: EFDD EFDD
39

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1

France EFDD

1

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1

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2
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45

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3

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1

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3

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1

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3
4

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2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
47

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2

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6

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1

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1

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1

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1

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1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

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1
4

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1

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1

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2

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

A8-0284/2015 - György Schöpflin - Am 5 #

2015/10/28 Outcome: +: 535, -: 123, 0: 10
IT FR DE PL RO ES BE NL CZ HU PT BG AT SK FI IE HR DK SI MT LV SE EE EL LT CY LU GB
Total
70
67
81
45
27
46
21
24
15
19
21
11
18
10
13
10
10
11
8
6
7
19
6
18
9
5
5
65
icon: PPE PPE
191

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Lithuania PPE

1

Luxembourg PPE

For (1)

Against (1)

2
icon: S&D S&D
171

Netherlands S&D

2

Czechia S&D

3
4

Slovakia S&D

2

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Croatia S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

3

Latvia S&D

1
5

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
63

Romania ALDE

2

Bulgaria ALDE

3

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

2

Denmark ALDE

3

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For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Estonia ALDE

3

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom ALDE

1
icon: ENF ENF
37
2

Belgium ENF

For (1)

1

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Italy ECR

2

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Czechia ECR

1
2

Latvia ECR

For (1)

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
12

France NI

For (1)

1

Germany NI

For (1)

1

Poland NI

1

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For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
39

France EFDD

1

Poland EFDD

1

Sweden EFDD

2

Lithuania EFDD

Against (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
45

Italy GUE/NGL

3

France GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

3

Netherlands GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

3

Finland GUE/NGL

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1

Ireland GUE/NGL

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4

Denmark GUE/NGL

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1

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1

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2

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1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
46

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Hungary Verts/ALE

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1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

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1

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1

Denmark Verts/ALE

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1

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1

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1
4

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1

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1

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1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

A8-0284/2015 - György Schöpflin - Am 1 #

2015/10/28 Outcome: -: 575, +: 61, 0: 35
CY LU IE EE MT LV DK SI LT SE NL AT HR SK BE BG HU FI CZ EL PT FR RO PL IT ES GB DE
Total
4
6
9
6
6
7
11
8
9
19
24
18
10
10
21
11
19
13
15
18
21
68
27
45
71
46
65
83
icon: ENF ENF
38

Belgium ENF

For (1)

1
2

United Kingdom ENF

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
12

France NI

For (1)

1

Poland NI

1

United Kingdom NI

Against (1)

1

Germany NI

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
39

Lithuania EFDD

Against (1)

1

Sweden EFDD

2

France EFDD

1

Poland EFDD

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
44

Cyprus GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

4

Denmark GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

3

Finland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

Against (1)

4

France GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

3

Italy GUE/NGL

3

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
63

Latvia ECR

Against (1)

1

Denmark ECR

Against (1)

2

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

2

Finland ECR

2

Czechia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Romania ECR

Against (1)

1

Italy ECR

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
47

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

Against (1)

4

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Croatia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Hungary Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Finland Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

6
icon: ALDE ALDE
64

Luxembourg ALDE

Against (1)

1

Ireland ALDE

Against (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

3

Latvia ALDE

1

Denmark ALDE

3

Slovenia ALDE

Against (1)

1

Sweden ALDE

3

Austria ALDE

Against (1)

1

Croatia ALDE

2

Bulgaria ALDE

3

Portugal ALDE

2

Romania ALDE

2

United Kingdom ALDE

Against (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
173

Cyprus S&D

Against (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

Against (1)

1

Ireland S&D

Against (1)

1

Estonia S&D

Against (1)

1

Malta S&D

3

Latvia S&D

Against (1)

1
3

Slovenia S&D

Against (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

Against (2)

2

Croatia S&D

2

Slovakia S&D

2

Finland S&D

2

Czechia S&D

3
icon: PPE PPE
190

Cyprus PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

3

Ireland PPE

3

Estonia PPE

Against (1)

1

Denmark PPE

Against (1)

1

Lithuania PPE

1

A8-0284/2015 - György Schöpflin - Résolution #

2015/10/28 Outcome: +: 527, 0: 103, -: 39
IT DE FR PL ES RO BE NL HU CZ PT AT BG FI SK HR EL LT DK SE SI LV IE MT GB EE LU CY
Total
71
81