The European Commission decided to register 3 new European citizens’ initiatives.
- ‘Stop corruption in Europe at its root, by cutting off funds to countries with inefficient judiciary after deadline’,
- ‘Actions on Climate Emergency‘ and ‘Save bees and farmers! Towards a bee-friendly agriculture for a healthy environment.’
- The Commission also decided not to register a proposed European citizens’ initiative entitled ‘Ensuring Common Commercial Policy conformity with EU Treaties and compliance with international law‘
The Commission also decided not to register a proposed European citizens’ initiative entitled ‘Ensuring Common Commercial Policy conformity with EU Treaties and compliance with international law‘ as the actions requested manifestly fall outside the Commission’s powers to act according to the EU Treaties.
At this stage in the process, the Commission has not analysed the substance of the initiatives, but only their legal admissibility. Should any of the 3 registered initiatives receive 1 million statements of support from at least 7 Member States within 1 year, the Commission will analyse and respond to the initiative. The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.
European citizens’ initiatives were introduced with the Lisbon Treaty and launched in April 2012, upon the entry into force of the European citizens’ initiative Regulation, which implements the Treaty provisions. In 2017, as part of President Juncker’s State of the Union address, the European Commission tabled reform proposals for the European citizens’ initiative to make it even more user-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.
In the meantime, the process has been simplified and a collaborative platform offers support to organisers. All this has contributed to 41% more registered initiatives (41 registrations under the Juncker Commission compared to 29 under the previous Commission) and 70% fewer refusals (only 6 citizens’ initiatives were not registered under this Commission compared to 20 under the previous Commission).
Once formally registered, a European citizens’ initiative allows 1 million citizens from at least 7 of the 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.