Since May 2012, the first European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs) are trying to collect their one million signatures to influence EU legislation.
We have seen much pan-European engagement through this new instrument over the last months. This is a success for all those who fought for this right for the last years. Nevertheless, significant problems with this new right have stopped the first Citizens’ Initiatives from collecting signatures for months.
In order to develop the European Citizens’ Initiative, the Austrian Institute for European Law and Policy in co-operation with ECAS will therefore organise a conference to bring together initiators, officials, politicians, academics and interested public to evaluate the ECI and discuss the future development of this innovative instrument of direct democracy. The conference is part of a series of conferences all over Europe in 2012, which will together take stake of the state of the ECI and best practices in EU campaigning.
The experiences and success of the first initiatives will be the key for the future development of direct democracy in Europe. This event will give all participants the unique chance to directly get in contact with all those responsible for this future and will therefore allow you to directly influence the development of European democracy.
The conference of the ECI link Project will give the participants insights on the technical challenges of ECI regulations.
For the moment, organizers of ECIs have been unable to collect signatures due to the absence of a secure online system. The free software has been provided by the Commission, however, it is neither user friendly or complete. The preparatory and technical work has been too costly for the first grassroots initiatives to afford. The overall approach of the Commission in the coming days will be decisive.
The event will, therefore, offer you an excellent opportunity to exchange the best practices, and to discuss and evaluate the first practical experiences with ECIs and the impact they have had in first months of their existence.
Registration will be free and open to all subject to availability. Click here for the programme.
Should you wish to participate, please send an e-mail with your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.