The European Citizens’ Initiative: European Implementation Assessment
Following the ECI Day (13.04.2015) and in light of the European Ombudsman’s recent recommendations, the Commission has decided to act on stakeholders’ call for simplification and a substantial revision of the current ECI framework and its application, including its implementation in the EU Member States. The ECI has been in operation since April 2012. Over the years, observers have identified a number of shortcomings in its implementation, which impact negatively on the effectiveness and acceptance of this relatively new instrument of transnational participatory democracy. On 31 March 2015, the Commission presented its first report on the application of the ECI Regulation. While it concluded that it considered the ECI to be fully implemented, it however listed a few areas for improvement. This paper seeks to provide a systematic overview of the current weaknesses in the ECI process and puts forward concrete recommendations for a better functioning ECI.