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European Citizens’ Initiative

European Citizens’ Initiative: great expectations – extensive scepticism

Since 1 April 2012, all European citizens maintain a new EU citizenship right: through the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), 1 Million European citizens own the right to invite the European Commission to submit a proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of imple­menting the Treaty. The IEP monitors the estab­lishment of this new instrument of partic­i­pative democracy as part of the imple­men­tation of the Treaty of Lisbon on an academic level.

As an instrument of partic­i­pative democracy, the ECI offers the oppor­tunity to expedite democracy in the EU. The IEP, therefore, deals with new fields of research by focusing on the EU’s potential to initiate transna­tional discursive spheres and to include new actors and citizens in EU decision-making processes. The ECI is, at the same time, accom­panied by extensive skepticism of the civil society regarding its imple­men­tation. According to the upcoming evalu­ation of the ECI regula­tions in 2015, questions concerning the imple­men­tation is also of interest to the IEP.