EU: In Less Than 2 Weeks, The EU Parliament Could Make It Harder for Citizens to Participate in the Only Direct Democracy Tool the EU Has – Please Sign the Petition.

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Hi Mark,

It should be easy and simple for all EU citizens to participate in our democracy. But in less than two weeks, the European Parliament could make it harder for citizens like you and me to participate in the only direct democracy tool the EU has: the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). [1]

MEPs will soon vote to change the ECI, and could vote to ban the only software that has resulted in a successful ECI for five years! [2]

petition keyboard

Petition link – https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/1208?utm_source=civimail-21631&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190228

A group of dedicated programmers developed this software in 2015, precisely because of the shortcomings of the EU’s own software. The EU wants to ban it simply because the decision makers negotiating the reform overlooked its success. [3] Now, rather than trying to the fix the problem, the EU is trying to rush through this reform before the next elections.

This is our last chance to stop these destructive reforms. [4] If we can show MEPs that citizens want to keep a simple path for participation, we might be able to prevent this backward reform!

In 2017 our community organised a successful ECI to ban glyphosate. To make it possible, we adapted our own signature collection software, which has been certified by EU governments in full compliance with the law. [5] Now the EU wants to change the law, and ban this kind of signature collection software!

petition keyboard

Petition link – https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/1208?utm_source=civimail-21631&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190228

 

The ECI is the only tool that brings together EU citizens to have a direct and formal say in EU decision-making. But it is not easy to use it, and only four ECIs have been successful since 2012, when the tool was established. And now if the EU has its way, the chances of new successful ECIs emerging will be even more limited. MEPs think that they can pass these destructive reforms right before the European elections, without us noticing.

But if we band together and show MEPs we are against these changes, we could sway the upcoming vote in the European Parliament. If we show the MEPs now just how powerful we are as European citizens, and just how much we care for our European democracy, they will know that we will show this power at the ballot box in May.

As if banning our software wasn’t bad enough, the changes would also mean that ECI organisers cannot contact the signatories after the ECI process is finished. This would prevent organisers from building European communities of action like ours, which has been so successful in bringing citizens’ voices directly to EU decision makers. [6]

Rather than fixing current problems with the ECI, the EU is ready to create a whole new set of barriers for people to engage. Show MEPs that if they support these changes, we won’t support them!

In hope,
Olga (Bologna), Jörg (Lübeck), Marta (Warsaw) and the entire team at WeMove.EU

 

PS: There have only ever been four successful ECIs – let’s make sure our MEPs don’t kill the tool altogether or make it so there’s never a successful ECI again. Sign now!

 

References:
[1] https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?lang=&reference=2017/0220(COD)
[2] See here for reasons why our own signature collection software is so important for a successful ECI:
http://www.citizens-initiative.eu/10-reasons-to-preserve-eci-organisers-right-and-freedom-to-use-individual-online-collection-systems/
[3] The Commission’s original proposal said that the use of online collection systems like ours should continue, and the European Parliament supported that proposal. However, during trilogue negotiations, the working staff document accompanying the draft regulation proposal contained incomplete information. It indicated that no ECIs used this software in the years 2014 and 2015, which resulted in the Council recommending to discontinue their use. However, our software was launched in late 2015, and many other ECI organisers have used it in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
[4] http://www.citizens-initiative.eu/eu-deal-creates-a-highly-uncertain-future-for-eci/
[5] For the Stop Glyphosate ECI, we used the “openECI” online collection system, and integrated it with our own normal petition software
http://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/successful/details/2017/000002
[6] https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/european-citizens%E2%80%99-initiatives-become-more-accessible-after-deal-reached

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