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24/10/2020
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European Union democracy tool fails to reach citizens

"The European Citizens' Initiatives (ECI) is one of the building blocks for strengthening trust in the European institutions and for promoting active participation of citizens in EU policy-making. We must look for innovative ways to encourage greater and more effective use of the tool".─ First Vice-President Frans Timmermans

 Brussels, Apr.1.─ The European Commission has indicated it is not going to make major changes to the EU's participative democracy tool despite critics saying its complexity has made it almost unworkable.

In a review published Tuesday (31 March), three years after the European Citizen's Initiative went live, the commission suggests some technical tweaks to the instrument while concluding that the law governing it has been "fully implemented".

The commission's analysis shows that of the 51 initial requests to register initiatives, just two - on the right to water and on banning research using human embryos - reached the final stage of the process.

These elicited a formal response from the commission, but no legislation as a successful petition does not automatically lead to new draft laws.

Twenty were turned down; 12 never reached the required signature threshold, while one - on vivisection - is due a commission response in June ...

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