Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European citizens' initiative
This Staff Working Document accompanies the proposal for a Regulation on the European citizens' initiative. It synthetises the analyses that have taken place since 2015 on the current Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on the citizens' initiative (ECI Regulation) and on the different options that have been suggested for its revision. It is based on extensive stakeholder consultations and a number of studies on specific issues and it takes account of the opinion from the REFIT platform as well as of contributions from other EU institutions and bodies. The European citizens' initiative (ECI) was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon1 and has been implemented by the ECI Regulation which entered into application in April 2012. The ECI is a right enshrined in the Treaty. It aims at enhancing citizens' participation in the democratic life of the Union, by allowing one million citizens to invite the Commission to submit a proposal. The ECI is therefore a tool for participation and for agenda-setting at EU level. Thanks to this instrument, a significant number of EU citizens have the possibility to directly ask the Commission to take action on a matter that they care about. By making it more accessible, the ECI helps bring the Union closer to citizens. One of the benefits of this instrument is also that it allows citizens to forge links with like-minded people across the Union, facilitating pan-European debates on issues that are close to citizens' concerns and helping build an EU-wide public sphere.