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What is a European Citizens' Initiative?


A European citizens' initiative (ECI) is an invitation to the European Commission to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate.


A citizens' initiative has to be backed by at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least 7 out of the 28 member states. A minimum number of signatories is required in each of those 7 member states.




In order to launch a citizens' initiative, citizens must form a "citizens' committee" composed of at least 7 EU citizens being resident in at least 7 different member states.


The members of the citizens' committee must be EU citizens old enough to vote - citizens do not need to be registered to vote, just old enough - in the European Parliament elections (18 except in Austria, where the voting age is 16).


After having registered the ECI, the citizens' committee must start to collect statements of support from citizens. Once the registration is confirmed, organisers have one year to collect signatures.




If the ECI gets one million signatures, the Commission will carefully examine the initiative.


Within 3 months after receiving the initiative, the Commission will adopt a formal response spelling out what action it will propose in response to the citizens' initiative, if any, and the reasons for doing or not doing so. The response will be formally adopted by the College of Commissioners and published in all official EU languages.


The Commission is not obliged to propose legislation as a result of an initiative. 






Source: European Commission

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