ALDA launches the activities and information campaign on the European Citizens Initiative, which represents a new and innovative tool for citizens’ participation in Europe.
“This is a challenging proposal, which needs to be fully understood by citizens. It does not represent a final step towards direct democracy but it is to be conceived as an important instrument for mobilization of interest in Europe”. says Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA.
The European Citizens’ Initiative, entered in force the 1st of April, will allow 1 million citizens from at least seven EU countries to invite the European Commission to bring forward proposals for legal acts in areas where the Commission has the power to do so. The organisers of a citizens’ initiative, a citizens’ committee composed of at least 7 EU citizens who are resident in at least 7 different Member States, will have 1 year to collect the necessary statements of support. The number of statements of support has to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States. The Commission will then have 3 months to examine the initiative and decide how to act on it. It is a right that is enshrined in the EU treaties. The rules and procedures governing the citizens’ initiative are set out in an EU regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in February 2011.
A guide published by the European Union explains what the citizens’ initiative is about, how to sign up to initiatives and how to organise an initiative.
A “Warming Up“ Conference was implemented last January on The European Citizens’ Initiative by the European Commission.
“I think that, at the moment, the effects of the ECI will be more on the side of awareness raising that the actual effects of the initiatives themselves. But, this is an opportunity not to lose. We hope that soon all the European members states will adopt the necessary national regulations for a full implementation”, says also Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA.
ALDA will support numerous activities organised for the launch of the European Citizens Initiative with the support the office in Brindisi (Italy) – fixes on the April the 18th, in Vicenza and Strasbourg and by la Maison de l’Europe in Caen (France). The members of ALDA will received during the upcoming month a full update on the possibilities and practical hints as for the ECI.
ALDA has been working on the field of active citizenship and citizen participation for a long time involving different stakeholders such as local authorities, Civil Society Organisations, citizens in local and national level. The idea of this information day is to increase the awareness of citizens on the key and crucial role they can and must play in the construction of the European Citizenship and to foster their participation in the European and local decision making process for a good governance.