Category Archives: Euroopa Kodanikualgatus

European Citizen's Initiative (ECI)

The Lisbon Treaty introduces a new form of public participation in European Union policy shaping, the European citizens’ initiative (ECI). It is widening up the sphere of public debate, allowing citizens to participate more intensively in the democratic life of the Union.

Since  the December  2009, when the treaty entered into force, the European Commission, whilst retaining its initiative and therefore not being bound to make a proposal following a citizens’ initiative, it is committed to carefully examine all initiatives that fall within the framework of its powers in order to consider whether a new policy proposal would be appropriate.  Through this new “participatory democracy” tool, the citizens shall have more opportunity take part of the EU debates, bringing Europe closer to its citizens.

According to the new treaty, the initiative must have the support of at least one million citizens from at least one third of the member states (i.e. at the moment from 9 MS ) for the Commission to consider it.

The European Commission has now adopted a proposal for a Regulation on the citizen’s initiative, which states in greater detail which regulations the Europeans should follow when proposing an initiative. According to the proposal, the fixed threshold of signatures in each MS must be degressively proportional to the population of each Member State. It means that in the four smaller MS the amount of signatures to be gathered is 4 500, and in the biggest MS, Germany, 72 000 citizen’s signatures. This proportionality principle has awoken a lot of dissatisfaction and disputes among the MEPs (similarily to the EEAS discussion), since collecting 72 000 signatures is far more complicated than to get the support of only 4 500 citizens.

Once at least 300 000 signatures have been gathered from three Member States, the initiative will be presented to the Commission. The Commission  then has to check the admissibility of it, and decide whether the initiative falls within its powers and is in an area where legislation is possible. The Commission would have four months to examine the initiative itself. It would then have to decide whether to make a legislative proposal, to follow up the issue for example with a study, or not to take any further action.

In case of the green light, i.e. a positive answer by the Commission, the initiative organiser has one year to collect the necessary  signatures.

It is important that this new feature of the democratic process should be credible, should fully assure data protection and should not be open to abuse or fraud. To avoid fraud, the citizens have to provide their home address, date of birth, nationality and personal identity number (national ID card, passport or social security number. This point might become an obstacle when collecting signatures because only few would agree giving such detailed personal data.

The organisers must also provide the information about funding. Transparency is the key word of this new democratic instrument. But as citizen’s rights and data protection are constantly very important issues, there are ongoing disputes and discussions about how detailed personal data the citizens should provide.

The Commission hopes that the Council and Parliament will reach final agreement on the ECI before the end of this year, to allow the first initiatives to be brought forward in 2011.

For more information on ECI, please read:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/citizens_initiative/index_en.htm
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/10/116&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

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Euroopa kodanikualgatus (ECI)

Vastses Lissaboni lepingus sätestatud Euroopa kodanikualgatuse eesmärk on muuta EL demokraatlikumaks, andes selle kodanikele vahetuma võimaluse osaleda liidu poliitika kujundamises.

Alates lepingu jõustumisest 2009. aasta detsembris on ELi õigusaktide koostamise eest vastutaval Euroopa Komisjonil nüüd ametlik kohustus (pärast teatavate tingimuste täitmist) kodanike ettepanekuid kaaluda ning arvesse võtta. Kodanikualgatuse kaudu peaks elavnema arutelu Brüsselis toimuva üle. Kodanikel hakkab olema senisest rohkem võimalust Euroopa asjades kaasa rääkida.

Et komisjon algatust üldse kaaluks, peab Lissaboni lepingu kohaselt seda toetama vähemalt üks miljon kodanikku ja seda vähemalt ühest kolmandikust liikmesriikidest (praegu seega üheksast liikmesriigist).

Komisjon on nüüdseks koostanud ka täpsemad eeskirjad, mida eurooplased kodanikualgatuse avalduste esitamisel peavad järgima. Ettepaneku kohaselt peab igas riigis kogutud allkirjade arv olema proportsionaalne riigi rahvaarvuga. Nii tuleb neljas väikseimas liikmesriigis koguda vähemalt 4 500 ning suurimas, Saksamaal, 72 000 allkirja. Selline proportsionaalsuse põhimõte on tekitanud samuti üsna palju furoori (sarnaselt EEAS-iga), kuna 4500 allkirja kogumine ei ole kaugeltki nii keeruline kui saada kokku 72 000 inimese allkirjad.

Kui kokku on kogutud vähemalt 300 000 allkirja vähemalt kolmest liikmesriigist, esitatakse algatus komisjonile, kes peab kontrollima ja otsustama, kas algatus kuulub tema pädevusse. Pärast seda on algatuse esitajal aega üks aasta puuduvate allkirjade kogumiseks.

Kui algatus vastab kõigile kehtestatud kriteeriumitele, siis on komisjonil aega neli kuud algatuse uurimiseks ning otsustamiseks, kas teha õigusakti ettepanek, algatada uuring või loobuda edasiste meetmete võtmisest. Komisjon peab oma otsust ka avalikult põhjendama.

Pettuste vältimiseks peavad allakirjutanud esitama oma koduse aadressi, sünnikuupäeva, kodakondsuse ning oma isikut tõendava numbri – ID-kaardi, passi või sotsiaalkindlustusnumbri. Korraldajad peavad avaldama ka algatuse rahastajad. Ka sellel teemal käib komisjonides arutelu, kuna vähesed inimesed on nõus avaldama enda kohta nii privaatseid andmeid.

Komisjon loodab, et Euroopa Liidu Nõukogu ja Euroopa Parlament teevad Euroopa kodanikalgatuse kohta lõpliku otsuse enne käesoleva aasta lõppu-sellisel juhul oleks võimalik esimesed algatused esitada juba 2011. aastal.

Lisainfo:

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/secretariat_general/citizens_initiative/index_en.htm

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/10/116&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

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