European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission decides to register two citizens’ initiatives

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


Today, the European Commission decided to register two European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECI) entitled ‘Civil Servant Exchange Program (CSEP)’ and ‘Green Garden Roof Tops’.

The organisers of the ‘Civil Servant Exchange Program (CSEP)’ initiative call on the Commission to launch an exchange and training programme between civil servants of the Member States of the European Union. The aim of programme would be to offer civil servants professional experience in a similar service in another Member State for a period of 2 to 12 months.

The organisers of the ‘Green Garden Roof Tops’ initiative call on the Commission to facilitate the creation of green garden areas on companies’ rooftops. This way the unutilised roofs could contribute to and aid the environment.

The Commission considers that both ECIs are legally admissible, as they meet the necessary conditions, and therefore decided to register it. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the ECI at this stage.

Next Steps

Following today’s registration of the ECIs, the organisers can start the process of collection of signatures of support. Should the ECI receive 1 million statements of support within 1 year from at least 7 different Member States, the Commission will have to react. The Commission could decide either to follow the request, or not, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.

Background

The European Citizens’ Initiative was introduced with the Lisbon Treaty as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens. It was officially launched in April 2012.

Once formally registered, a European Citizens’ Initiative allows for 1 million citizens from at least one quarter of EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose legal acts in areas where the Commission has the power to act.

The conditions for admissibility are: (1) the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, (2) it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and (3) it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.

Since the beginning of the ECI, the Commission has now registered in total 78 Citizens’ Initiatives and refused 26 as they did not satisfy the conditions.

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