In response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), ECAS made the following recommendations:
- Citizens’ initiatives should also foster transnational debates between both like-mind and different-minded citizens.
- Civil society organisations have an important role to play in supporting e-participation mechanisms at institutional levels. A few NGOs are already supporting ECI organisers in their own capacity but it is essential to have the involvement of more organisations both at national and EU level.
- Citizens’ committees of an ECI should, within the regulation, be defined as a legal body of EU-lawmaking, so that organisers cannot be held individually liable.
- The Commission should make the most concrete, detailed communication possible in its follow-up to initiatives that reach the required number of signatures to allow organisers the opportunity to concretely follow-up with their political campaigns and have a political debate with facts and figures provided by the Commission.
- The Commission should insist Member States do their part in communicating the existance of the ECI. For example, where Member States already have national platforms for civic engagement, the ECI should also be published on those web pages.
- The Commission could also reach out directly to national civil society organisations for their support.
- In the short term, the Commission should publish a regular ECI newsletter for organisers, signatories and interested citizens with information about ECIs in a particular field or milestones that ECIs reach.
Read the full response here
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