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ECI: Signature collection with Commission servers to solve problems

ECI: Signature collection with Commission servers to solve problems

22-08-2012

The European Commission has offered organisers of European citizens' initiatives (ECIs) to host their online collection systems of signatures on its own servers and to extend the one-year deadline for the collection of signatures.

The move by the European Commission is an attempt to solve existing problems with the open source software that the European Commission had developed for the collection of signatures, also “statements of support” in EU terminology. According to EU legislation one million “statements of support” from at least seven EU Member States are required to submit a citizens’ initiative to the Commission. The EU’s executive body then examines the initiative and decides whether the proposed law falls within the powers of the EU.

The European citizens’ initiative had entered into force on 1st April 2012. A few weeks later serious issues became apparent with the open software system in terms of web accessibility and security prescriptions. Two citizens' initiatives set up their system with private service providers. One of them, the 'right2water' initiative, just became the very first initiative to receive certification by the competent national authority. This certification is necessary to start the collection of signatures online.

Further information:
Official European Commission website on ECI at ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/welcome
Ongoing initiatives at ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/ongoing
Material on ECI by Democracy International at www.democracy-international.org/eci.html

Text by Cora Pfafferott

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