European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

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© European Communities , 2003 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Christian Lambiotte

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The College of Commissioners has today decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘End the Cage Age’.

The stated objectives of the proposed Citizens’ Initiative are to end “inhumane treatment of farm animals” kept in cages. The organisers are asking the Commission to propose legislation to prohibit the use of: cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, broiler breeders, layer breeders, quail, ducks and geese; farrowing crates for sows; sow stalls and individual calf pens, where not already prohibited.

The Commission’s decision to register the Initiative concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage.

The registration of this Initiative will take place on 11 September 2018, starting a one-year process of collection of signatures of support by its organisers. Should the initiative receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months. The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.

Background

European Citizens’ Initiatives were introduced with the Lisbon Treaty and launched as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens in April 2012, upon the entry into force of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation which implements the Treaty provisions.

Once formally registered, a European Citizens’ Initiative allows one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose a legal act in areas where the Commission has the power to do so.

The conditions for admissibility, as foreseen by the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation, are that the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, that it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and that it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.

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