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Rules for Hearings on ECIs adopted by European Parliament

Citizens of the European Union may use the first instrument of participatory democracy ever on a transnational levelECI logo

Brussels, June 6 (─ The Treaty of Lisbon introduced the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI). It provides that "not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties." (Article 11.4 TEU) This was an important first step towards participatory democracy in Europe.

On Sunday, April 1st 2012, the European  Commission started accepting requests to register proposed initiatives. This was the essential first step before citizens were able to start collecting statements of support.

The European Parliament approved on 22 May 2012 an amendment of the Parliament's Rules of Procedure devised for the ECI tool box to be functional.  From now on successful ECIs will be invited by the European Parliament for a public hearing.

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