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.