Dzień Europejskiej Inicjatywy Obywatelskiej 2017
ECI DAY 2017: I participate!
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 – 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
At the EESC building Rue Belliard/Belliardstraat 99 – 1040 Brussels
The European Citizens' Initiative is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and, although the long-awaited revision of the relevant regulation has not yet found its way into the European Commission's working plan, there are many reasons to celebrate!
The concept of European citizenship has been evolving for 60 years, ever since the Treaty of Rome made history by introducing the right to freedom of movement for workers and services. Over the years, the idea of European citizenship and the rights associated with it have evolved considerably – more freedoms were added, as well as the right to vote directly in European Parliament elections, online consultations and other tools of participatory democracy, such as the European Citizens' Initiative.
With this in mind, 2017's edition of the "ECI DAY: I participate!" hopes to bring to light the success stories that attest to the considerable evolution of the concept of European citizenship, as introduced by the Treaties, and the kind of policy-making that engages citizens, but also to identify where the democratic deficits lie. Our aim is to underline the value of active citizenship and personal involvement, as well as the importance of citizens' informed and conscious use of the democratic tools that are available.
The ECI has great potential, but also some limitations. It complements the political system with its direct, indirect and representative democratic rights. It should not be forgotten that the most important element of any healthy political system is educating active citizens and giving them a selection of tools with which to shape their lives, both locally and on a national level; in other words, to construct a political system along with people who believe that they can bring about change even via small actions in their neighbourhood.
This is why we will focus on two themes during the 2017 ECI DAY:
- ECI success stories to show how some ECI ideas have actually found their way into European legislation despite not benefitting from any direct legislative follow-up. There were also a number of technical updates and simplifications to the technical specifications that deserve attention.
- Citizens' Participation – ECI and beyond which will investigate further various forms of citizen participation in view of their efficiency, purpose and requirements. What makes a transnational campaign successful? We will also try to design an event that could address citizens' participation needs.
The ECI DAY
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is a welcome instrument for participatory democracy at European level. Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty and having entered into force in 2012, it allows Europeans to make legislative proposals and participate in decision-making by connecting directly with EU institutions. It is a chance for them to discuss and influence key policies and sheds further light on the public's view of the EU's agenda and priorities.
The ECI Day is an important meeting place and platform where registered and future ECI organisers and stakeholders can exchange information and experiences and present their ECI and activities to the public. As in the past, stands will be available for ECI organisers and conference partners. We will also propose an ECI Clinic corner where all present and future organisers will have a chance to consult our partners and colleagues from the ECI Team of the European Commission Secretariat General on ECI-related issues.
The ECI Day 2017 partners
- Committee of the Regions
- The ECI Campaign
- European Citizens' Action Service
- University of Liverpool, School of Law and Social Justice
- Democracy International
- Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe
Four years after the ECI regulation entered into force, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has pinpointed significant technical, legal and bureaucratic problems, along with a clear excess of powers attributed to the Commission.
In its opinion, the EESC recommends:
- to simplify the existing rules, adapting to the actual possibilities of the citizens (the choice of the launching date, lowering the minimum age, recognising the citizens' committees legally, and providing the platform for the online collection system on permanent basis) and to clarify the existing registration procedure;
- simplifying, reducing and harmonising the system of national standards laid down for the collection of data;
- guaranteeing an appropriate follow-up for successful initiatives and by communicating with ECI organisers on the legislative changes and political decisions that respond to their ECI (even if partially);
- separating the roles of the European Commission as institutional mentor and judge. The EESC would be a natural candidate for the role of facilitator and institutional mentor;
- to raise awareness of the ECI mechanism and ensure a serious information campaign;
to set up an institutional forum on the participation of European citizens, to become a permanent platform for discussion and debate at the Committee along the lines of the European Migration Forum, building on European Citizens' Initiative Day.
Earlier EESC opinions on the ECI:
1. Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Citizens’ Initiative’ COM(2010) 119 final — 2010/0074 (COD), July 2010
2. Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty: participatory democracy and the citizens’ initiative (Article 11)’ (own-initiative opinion), March 2010
Źródło: Europejski Komitet Ekonomiczno-Społeczny
Data wydarzenia: 2017-04-11
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