People can soon suggest European laws

Group 5; Elina Kilpi, Heidi Söyrinki, Minna Rajainmäki

The citizens of European Union have soon a possibility to suggest new EU laws. If an organization or a group of individuals is able to collect at least million names for an initiative, a European Commission is obliged to process the proposal. The European Citizen’s initiative (ECI) was proposed already 2009 in Lisbon Treaty. It will come into force the first of April 2012.

The names have to be collected within a year and only from persons who are eligible to vote in the European Parliament election. The signers should come from at least seven member states.

In practice, the proposal has to be registered online. The proposal cannot be made by an individual alone. It needs at least seven residents from different member states. The Commission can then approve or decline it.

The proposal has to be within the scope of the European Commission’s work. They are not going to process any suggestions which are against the values of European Union.

“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”, tells Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Administration.

For example environmental organization Greenpeace gathered names and handed them over to the Commission. They call for GE-free future. There is also a webpage where various interest groups collect verified signatures for the petition. There are suggestions for example to

Similar citizen’s initiative was recently launched in Finland.

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