European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Stop Finning – Stop the trade’ initiative


(Andrew Bain, Unsplash)

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

Today, the European Commission decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘Stop Finning – Stop the Trade’ related to sharks and rays. The aim of the Initiative is to ‘end the trade of fins in the EU including the import, export and transit of fins other than if naturally attached to the animal’s body.’

The organisers state that ‘although the removal of fins on board of EU vessels and in EU waters is prohibited and sharks must be landed with their fins naturally attached, the EU is among the biggest exporters of fins and a major transit hub for the global fin trade’. The Initiative specifically calls on the Commission ‘to extend REGULATION (EU) No 605/2013 also to the trade of fins and […] develop a new regulation, extending “fins naturally attached” to all trading of sharks and rays in the EU’.

Under the Treaties, the EU can take legal action in areas of common fisheries policy and common commercial policy. The Commission therefore considers the initiative legally admissible and decided to register it. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the initiative at this stage.

The registration of this initiative will take place on 2 January 2020, allowing the organizers to start, within next 6 months, a one-year process of collection of signatures of support. Should the initiative receive one million statements of support within 1 year, from at least 7 different Member States, the Commission will have to react within 6 months. The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.


The European Citizens’ Initiative was introduced with the Lisbon Treaty as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens. It was launched in April 2012. In 2017, the European Commission tabled reform proposals for the European Citizens’ Initiative to make it more citizen-friendly. In December 2018, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on the reform and the revised rules will start applying as of 1 January 2020. The revised rules, among others, will give the organisers more flexibility to choose the starting date of their campaign as well as revise the proposed initiative before the Commission’s registration decision.

In the meantime, the Commission has been raising awarenessof the European Citizens’ Initiative through a communication campaign and offered support to organisers via a collaborative platform. In total, the Commission has registered 71 Citizens’ Initiatives and refused 26, with only 6 refusals in the past 5 years.

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 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.


the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief pays tribute to Egypt’s role in avoiding ‘dramatic’ escalation in conflict across the Gaza-Israel border

Eurozone: Disinflation engulfs the industrial goods sector

These 3 countries are global offshore wind powerhouses

Continuing incarceration of women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, ‘reprehensible’: UN experts

State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Engie; has to recover around €120 million

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Mobile young people create the European labour market of tomorrow

UNICEF urges ‘transformative shift’ in family-friendly work policies to reap ‘huge’ benefits

Which countries’ workers spend the longest (and shortest) in retirement?

Korea should improve the quality of employment for older workers

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

Brexit poses ‘particular risk’ to British people in poverty: UN independent expert

Women’s rights in Asia – how far have we come?

How private equity can fund the fight against climate change

Australia wildfires: communities must stay vigilant, urges UN weather agency

Eight years after Fukushima, nuclear power is making a comeback

What the Corn Laws tell us about Brexit Britain

MWC 2016 LIVE: BT chief aims to be at UK 5G forefront

How fixing broken food systems can help us meet all the SDGs

In wake of ‘collapsed’ agreement, new wave of violence threatens millions in Syria’s Idlib

EU Banks still get subsidies from impoverished citizens

As Syria conflict enters ninth year, humanitarian crisis ‘far from over’, Security Council hears

Five ways to increase trust in e-commerce

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

The experience economy is booming, but it must benefit everyone

How TV has brought mental health issues into the light – and helped to banish stigma

Chinese tech investors are turning towards MENA. Here’s why

Top UN court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide

EU Commission: Banking and energy conglomerates don’t threaten competition!

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

Air pollution could be responsible for 1 in 7 new cases of diabetes

Pay packet inequality growing worldwide, says new UN report

European Defence Fund: EU funds new joint research and industrial projects

Statelessness for terrorists’ families, never an acceptable option, urges UN rights chief

Why exporters need to mind the trade finance gap

Pakistan: UN Security Council condemns ‘heinous and cowardly’ terrorist attacks

Iraq: UN mission urges ‘maximum restraint’ following deadly attack on foreign troops

Food for millions in Yemen at risk of rotting in key Red Sea port, warns UN

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

Primary Healthcare: Back to the Basics

Measles claims more than twice as many lives than Ebola in DR Congo

These 8 countries have perfect scores for women’s rights at work

Thought AIs could never replace human imagination? Think again

What’s the difference between carbon negative and carbon neutral?

Malaysia can show the way towards a holistic model for human rights

Sardinia’s La Pelosa beach is charging tourists an entry fee to protect its dunes and vegetation

The relation of deforestation and respiratory diseases

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

In Rwanda, high-speed drones are delivering blood to remote communities

‘Humiliation was the worst’; Holocaust survivor at UN, asks world to act with ‘empathy and compassion’

This South African lawyer is reading while running marathons – for book donations

Youth Guarantee putting young people in jobs

A question of trust: the UN political chief working behind the scenes to prevent tomorrow’s wars

Telemedicine in medical practices and its contribution to quality and accessibility to care

More women than ever before are running for political office in the US

How the coronavirus market turmoil compares to 2008 – and what we can do

#TakeYourSeat at the UN Climate Change Conference: a way for all people to join the global conversation

Yemen update: UNICEF chief condemns attack in Taiz that claims lives of seven children

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s