Official ECI Registry
Available in 23 languages
Forward! Initiative right becomes easier and gets more support
Join the work to make the European Citizens' Initiative working
On September 9 the first successful European Citizens' Initiative, the Right2Water-ECI will conclude it's signature gathering work and send these more than 1,8 million statements statements of support to the so called competent national authorities. And in time the European Commission has adopted the rules of the ECI regulation slightly by amending the annex which governs for example the forthcoming verification process. This is very welcome and a good sign that the long-term committment to strenghten praticipatory democracy at the transnational level is more than a lip-service. According to the EU Commission press release (July 11), "For example Luxembourg will no longer require a personal identification number, and Ireland will no longer require the place of birth" and "the Netherlands will allow Dutch nationals residing outside the Netherlands to sign a Dutch statement of support, which is not currently possible."Additionally, from October 1 "small improvements are made to usability by clarifying the language in the forms to be filled in by supporters". The Commission concludes that "all these changes draw on the first year of experience of this unique experiment in transnational participatory democracy."
Learning by doing and sometimes even failing is a well-tested method to develop democratic mechanisms and will have to be experienced many times ahead in the making of the first transnational participatory tool. In order to support all stakeholders in this process and the daily ECI practice, the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe now launches - together with the European Citizens Action Service and Democracy International - an ECI Support Centre with Headquarters in Brussels. Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding any open question or problem related to the ECI. If we do not have an answer to your question, we will do our best to find out and assist you all the way towards making your voice heard - and your signatures counted! If you are interested to discuss and exchange about your and others experiences in person your are also most welcome to participate in the forthcoming International Democracy Week in Falun/Sweden in late september.
On April 1, 2012 the European Commission uploaded its new ECI registry, definitely the single most important element of participatory infrastructure for the new instrument. With this website the Commission created a unique and powerful platform for formal aspects related to the ECI – in not less than 23 languages. At the same time, a first version of an online signature collection software (OCS) was released. That was all. While the registry proved to be a robust and reliable tool at the frontend (open to everybody), all the backend features (like the protected “manage your initiative” sections and the OCS) had and continue to have problems in working smoothly. Moreover, the human resources behind those electronic services in the Commission were and remain very limited. The latter must be seen against the background of a manifest ambivalence towards the new instrument of citizen participation by the Commission’s leadership. A series of important questions have been put to the Commission by the Parliament, paving the ground for the 2015 revision of the law.