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ALDA together with Democracy International and civil society in support of the European Citizens’ Initiative

The reform process of the European Citizens' Initiative is entering its most crucial stage to date, but the current state of affairs is far from satisfactory. Civil society has called upon the EU Parliament to have a debate and vote in plenary on every successful ECI before the Commission adopts its formal response. This is a modest request to the EU Parliament, but a crucial one in ensuring that the ECI finally sees a political impact. The call was supported by over 70 civil society organisations and all 5 successful ECIs. The first call have managed to shake up the European Parliament by convincing some MEPs from the strong political groups of EPP and S&D, in addition to the already strong support from the Greens/GUE, that we need the European Parliament to step up their role in the ECI. But, despite the united civil society push and all of our efforts including a public action in Brussels, the Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) has treated our call with total disregard, and finally last week voted against the amendment in their final report. They simply do not want to oblige themselves to an automatic follow-up response to successful ECIs. 

The AFCO Committee has the mandate to take their report directly to trilogue negotiations on the ECI revision without giving the opportunity to the plenary of the European Parliament to table amendments. Because of this, we are trying to get as many civil society organisations to join our #EPForgetUsNot campaign in one last effort to improve a serious fault in the ECI. We want MEPs to vote to withhold this mandate, and many are mobilizing to do so. Considering that the ECI is not up for revision often and that civil society was bluntly ignored, we need to build a vigorous civil society front. We've already managed to raise the level of debate on the ECI, but now we need your help in a final push for the strengthening of European democracy. 

Next Monday, just prior to the crucially important plenary vote on whether or not to take the current AFCO report to trilogues, we are sending all 751 MEPs a follow-up open letter. We are calling upon MEPs to challenge the mandate to start trilogues because the AFCO report crucially fails to effectively address the fundamental problem of follow-up to successful ECIs, and it does not commit the Parliament to take any more ownership of the ECI. Only when the mandate is challenged, amendments can be tabled again, and this fundamental aspect of the reform can be addressed.

We need as many players to join our campaign in order to have a fighting chance of getting a simple majority of MEPs to support us and our demands. It would be really valuable for us to have ALDA on board, which has already been supported by over 70 civil society organisations and all 5 successful ECIs. This is our last chance to save the ECI from a politically meaningless future.

Would you be willing to support #EPForgetUsNot campaign and co-sign the open letter? Let us know as soon as possible by email, phone or filling out this form. The deadline for collecting co-signatories is Monday, July 2nd at 10:00am.


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