The Petitions Committee in the European Parliament has this week approved anonymously, the new rules for the revision of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). This was a crucial vote in favour of giving a stronger voice to citizens where EU legislation is concerned.

Speaking immediately following the vote, MEP Marlene Mizzi, Vice-Chair of the Petitions Committee, and spokesperson for the SnD on this dossier, said: “It is indeed very satisfying to see the positive results we got on this opinion. There was widespread consensus across all the political groups in support of my amendments aimed at improving the current rules and give voice to European citizens when organising, participating or simply supporting a Citizens’ Initiative. I am happy that as shadow rapporteur I had a key role to play in drafting and voting on this strong position that will ensure that the instrument is citizens friendly as possible and lives up to its full potential.”

The ECI, which was introduced with the Lisbon Treaty, aims at increasing citizen’s role within the law-making process of the EU by enabling citizens to influence legislation.  Regretfully, the instrument has failed short on expectations and after continuous callings from citizens and the European Parliament, the Commission published a new revised rules in September 2017.

“The Commission’s new proposal will solve several relevant problems, which currently limit the user-friendliness of the instrument. However, the proposal still fails short on some fundamental issues, which are essential to ensure the future success of the European Citizens Initiative,” said MEP Mizzi.

“This was the main objective of my work as a shadows rapporteur to address the current gaps, so that citizens will finally have the same power as the European Parliament and the Council to propose new initiatives and policies at European level. For me the citizens’ initiative is a direct appeal from the people to the EU to directly shape the political future in Europe,” commented MEP Mizzi.

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