THE EUROPEAN CITIZENS INITIATIVE
In 2009, during a good dinner at the Palais, the question was discussed of how the citizens of Europe could become more involved in its affairs. An intense side-discussion focused on the potential and the limitations of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) - a new instrument introduced by the Lisbon treaty and allowing for more political participation of individuals in the decisions making at EU level. Could the ECI be used to protect and promote diversity within the EU? The lively debates were later reflected in a speech held before the General Assembly of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN). That acted as a catalyst on FUEN: In July 2013, the organisation presented a Minority Safe Pack. This package of measures shows the EU how diversity can be handled at the legislative level. The goal now is to collect one million signatures throughout Europe.
- A European Citizens Initiative, in order to be successful, needs a million signatures from 7 EU Member States. The details of the complex procedure are laid down in an EU-regulation.
- Currently around 20 of such procedures are ongoing. They can be tracked on a specific website run by the EU Commission.
- The instrument of the ECI can also be instrumental for protecting and promoting diversity within the EU (see the above mentioned speech).
- Information on the Minority Safe Pack as proposed by the FUEN are available on the website of FUEN.