Category Archives: European Citizens Initiatives

What is an ECI?

Letmevote has been involved on EU level with running a European Citizens Initiative from January 2013 to January 2014, with the name letmevote.

The European Citizens Initiative is a new democratic tool in the EU, which is still very much at an early stage in its development. In short, the ECI format gives organisations or groups of citizens the opportunity to bring an issue of pan-european importance into the public eye. The current rules give organisers 1 year to collect 1 million signatures across the EU. If this target is reached, the EU Commission has to consider the suggestions made, thus giving citizens a direct way to influence the Commission’s agenda.

Only a tiny number of ECIs completed so far have reached their target of 1 million signatures – most notably the Right2water campaign, which had great support from significant trade union networks across Europe. In the current format of the ECI, collecting signatures on paper and online is a very complicated, so hardly manageable for true citizens’ initiatives without large-scale organisational backing.

At the moment, the EU is collecting feedback and experience reports from ECIs so far, with a view to review how ECIs are done in 2015. Letmevote and ESF are considering to submit another ECI if the petitioning tool becomes more user-friendly.

Are you interested in ECIs?

Are you an EU citizen or NGO interested in what you can have a say on?

Contact Letmevote if you would like advice or tips on what you need to consider when submitting an ECI. We are happy to share our experience.

If you want to sign existing, current ECIs, you can find a complete list of all causes currently collecting signatures here: http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/ongoing

Here you will shortly find a report by Letmevote about our experience with the ECI format at this early stage, including our recommendations for the ECI review 2014/15.

An ECI that Works ReportYou may also find this organisation of interest which has published the report above: Initiative for the
European Citizens’ Initiative

 

The Letmevote ECI

In 2013, Letmevote ran a European Citizens Initiative collecting signatures in support of the idea that all EU citizens, who live within the EU, should be able to vote in all elections – local, regional, national and EU-elections – wherever in the EU they lived.

The aim of the campaign was to highlight the democratic disenfranchisement of 13.6 million EU citizens who (as of 2013) live in another EU country than the one they were born in.

Letmevote’s belief is that true European citizenship should give these EU citizens full voting rights, so they can actively participate in the society in which they live and which they contribute to socially, culturally and economically.

The ECI is a very new tool on EU level, and Letmevote was one of the first initiatives. Unfortunately, we did not hit the target of collecting  1 million signatures in a year – but we built a fanatastic network of volunteers and supporters in different European countries, who all are very dedicated to promote more active citizenship in the EU.

To conclude our first attempt at running an ECI, we contributed the following analysis to the ECI that Works publication, which has been published by the Initiative for the European Citizens’ Initiative

An ECI that Works – Chapter 11 – Letmevote – Author: Susanne Kendler

An ECI that Works Report - Letmevote

The official text of the ‘Let me vote’ initiative, as recorded on 1 April 2012 with the European Commission:

Object: To strengthen the rights listed in article 20§2 TFEU by granting EU citizens residing in another Member State the right to vote in all political elections in their country of residence, on the same conditions as the nationals of that State.

Main Objectives: The goal of the initiative is to develop the political dimension of the European project by reinforcing citizens’ awareness that they share a common destiny. It would have the following effects: – To enhance the concept of European Citizenship; – To facilitate freedom of movement within the EU; In addition, it could contribute to remedying the loss of voting rights presently experienced by a significant number of EU citizens who are long-term residents of other Member States.

Treaty Provisions: Article 25 TFEU, Article 20§2 TFEU

Signature Collection Period: 29 January 2013 – 28 January 2014