EU comes closer to its citizens on April

by Petra Piitulainen and Minna-Riikka Härkönen (Group 4)

European citizens can propose new EU laws from first of April. The European Commission can consider citizens’ initiatives, which get not less than seven nationalities and one million people behind them. Is Citizens’ Initiative solution to negative atmosphere in EU?

 ”It is a major leap forward in the democratic life of the Union”, comments Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for institutional Relations and Administration. ”It is a concrete example of bringing Europe closer to its citizens”.

 To start the initiation process there have to be Citizens’ Committee, which consist of at least seven persons, each from different nationalities. The required million signatures to initiation have to be verified by the Member States and then submitted to the Commission to examination. Million is 0,2 % out of 500 million European citizens. The members of Citizens’ Committee are entitled to present their initiative at the European Parliament. In three months the Commission decides whether to take the initiation into legislative process.

The Guide to the European Citizens’ Initiative gives instructions in every language of the Union to produce a legislative proposal to the Commission. The citizens are also offered legal help for free in initiative process. “I am ready to help ensure that the relevant procedures and citizens’ rights are respected”, comments the European Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros at press release on last wednesday.

More on subject: Direct Democracy: Citizen Initiatives Come to Europe (Time Magazine)

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