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ALDE defines its project for the Citizen's Initiative

Date

16 Jul 2010

Sections

EU Priorities 2020

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe considers the provision for the Citizen's Initiative of the Lisbon Treaty to be a major democratic step forward and intends on making it a success.

Diana Wallis (LibDem, UK) presented a working paper preparing her project on the Citizen's Initiative to the Petitions Committee yesterday. This Initiative gives 1 million citizens across the EU the possibility to sign in favour of a proposed European Law inviting the Commission to act, giving flesh to the idea of participatory democracy provided for in the Lisbon Treaty.

Ms. Wallis, joint rapporteur on the working paper said:

'Putting forward ideas on behalf of the Petitions Committee our whole idea has been to make this exciting new instrument as accessible, as citizen friendly and as simple as possible whilst acknowledging that this is a serious tool allowing citizens to set the EU policy and law making agenda.'

The three main innovations that were proposed are:

There should be no latter admissibility check, as the Commission had proposed after the gathering of 300,000 initial signatures, (reduced to 100,000 by the Council), rather just a pre-registration check to weed out those requests that are outside the competence of the EU, or failing to comply with the Charter of Human Rights.

The right to petition the European Parliament should be open to all European citizens and residents with no lower age limit, in other words it should not be limited to European Parliament electors, but should especially reach out to encourage debate and interest amongst young people.

There should be a clear obligation by the Commission to hold a public hearing with the supporters of the initiative once it has passed the one million signature mark. This would mean a true dialogue between the European institutions and its citizens.

The European Parliament should decide on the working paper by the end of the year based on reports from the AFCO and PETI committees.

 

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