The European Parliament today adopted a report setting out its opinion on the European Citizens' Initiative and how it can be improved. Commenting after the vote, Greens/EFA vice-president Josep Maria Terricabras said:
"The European Parliament has today voted to strengthen the European Citizens' Initiative. This crucial instrument for direct democracy aims to break down barriers between citizens and the EU's decision-making process and reinforce the democratic credibility of the EU. Three and half years since its start, it is clear that more needs to be done to improve how it works and ensure citizens can been convinced it is a meaningful democratic tool. MEPs have today adopted a number of important proposals to this end.
"Unfortunately, MEPs failed to support a Greens/EFA proposal, calling for clearer obligations on the European Commission to legally follow-up on successful citizens' initiatives. The lack of proper follow-up from the Commission risks creating understandable frustration among citizens' groups, which have gone to the considerable effort of organising a successful ECI. While we regret the lack of a clear call by parliament to redress this, we hope the Commission will come forward with proposals to this end."
(1) More on the European Citizens' Initiative http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/welcome