The European Citizens' Initiative

The Lisbon Treaty (also known as Treaty of Lisbon) introduces a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping, the European citizens’ initiative (ECI).

The legal basis of the citizens' initiative is set out in Article 11, Paragraph 4 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 24, paragraph 1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Both were last amended as the Treaty of Lisbon. The practical arrangements, conditions and procedure of the European Citizens' Initiative have finally been determined in a new EU regulation published on March 11th 2011 (click on link below)

The ECI will allow 1 million citizens from at least one quarter of the EU Member States to invite the European Commission to bring forward proposals for legal acts in areas where the Commission has the power to do so. The organisers of a citizens' initiative, a citizens' committee composed of at least 7 EU citizens who are resident in at least 7 different Member States, will have 1 year to collect the necessary statements of support. The number of statements of support has to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States. The Commission will then have 3 months to examine the initiative and decide how to act on it.

The European Citizens' Initiative is the first transnational instrument for citizens' participation worldwide. Citizens can make use of it from April 2012 on. 

If you already have an idea for a citizens' initiative, contact us in advance please. We will provide opportunities for displaying info material and for networking with people who have similar ideas.

Contact: Anja Kretzer,, phone:            0032-2-28 47372

 In accordance with the Regulation, it will only be possible to launch the first European Citizens' Initiatives from 1 April 2012.

REGULATION (EU) No 211/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the citizens' initiative (16 Feb 2011) [ PDF Document ]





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