EU citizens can suggest new EU legislation for the first time

By Hannele Järvelä and Anniina Makkonen (group 7)

The European Citizen’s Initiative allows citizens to participate in EU legislation. The first initiatives can be considered from early 2012.


Citizens can bring legislative proposals in areas where the Commission has competence. The initiative has to be backed by at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least seven EU states. Citizens’ committee will have a year to collect the signatures required.

After that the Commission will have to examine the initiative and decide what to do with the act in three months time. Citizens’ committee will also have the opportunity to present their initiative to the European Parliament. The Commission will have to explain its reasoning in a public document.

Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Administration Maroš Šefčovič is delighted that the Parliament and Council made the decision on ECI quickly. “The ECI will introduce a whole new form of participatory democracy to the EU. It is a major step forward in the democratic life of the Union.”

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