This one-day conference will look at the first year of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) and discuss how citizens and organisations could use this instrument more effectively as well as options of further development of citizen participation in Europe. The focus will be on the strengthening of the ECI as tool of participative democracy and on the empowerment of ECI organisers: what can the EU institutions do, what can citizens and NGOs do to make campaigns better prepared, better funded and more visible? How to find the right issues for ECIs and how to achieve broad debates? Based on that, the hosts of the conference MEPs Gerald Häfner, Sandrine Beliér and Isabelle Durant want to look beyond the current limitation of the ECI and ask how we shall proceed to strengthen instruments of citizen participation in EU matters.
European Parliament, Altiero Spinelli building, Place du Luxembourg entrance
by MEP Rebecca Harms, Co-Chair of the Greens/EFA Group in the EP
“The ECI as agenda-setting tool – an unfulfilled promise?”
with MEP Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Andreas Gross (MP, Switzerland)
“Citizens first - how the ECI can be a start for more democracy in Europe”
Water as a Human Right - The first successful ECI campaign
Film presentation and debate on the campaign
Organised by MEPs Heide Rühle, Raul Romeva i Rueda and Nikos Chrysogelos
(in front of room ASP 1 G 3, with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options)
Registration (for those who only attend the afternoon sessions)
Coffee break (in front of room ASP 1 G 3)
Fishbowl debate on the working groups’ recommendations
with MEP Sandrine Bélier
The future of participatory democracy in the EU
Concluding remarks and debate with MEP Gerald Häfner
Interpretation will be provided in English, French and German. Please note that the working groups will be in English only.
The event will be web-streamed (with the exception of the working groups) and remote interaction will be made available through Twitter (including during the working group phase). Follow the #citizensfirst hashtag!