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25,000 signatures for a Europe of the citizens!

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Woman demonstrating in Sweden. Image by Michael Erhardsson, all rights reserved (c)

25,000 signatures for a Europe of the citizens!


Since the launch of Democracy International’s campaign “Make your voice heard in Europe” on 13 April 2015, almost 20,000 people from right across Europe have signed the petition. The petition calls on Brussels’ politicians to bring real democracy to Europe, starting with an improvement of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The ECI is the only instrument for direct democratic participation at the EU level, allowing citizens to have a say on European politics.​

Our intermediate target had been to gather 20,000 signatures by "Europe Day" on 9 May. With exactly 19,174 signatures we missed the target by only a very slender margin. Thank you to all our supporters who helped us get so close! But the struggle is not over. Please help us reach our next intermediate goal of 25,000!

The petition to save the ECI has prominent support: Thomas Piketty, French economist and author of the best-seller "Capital in the Twenty-First Century", says the EU is “a dysfunctional power machine and its democratic foundations are in crisis”. Piketty demands to make the ECI “a serious initiative right for citizens” as “it is imperative that we foster collective deliberation - including the citizens - on the future of Europe”.

By Gobierno de Chile [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Gesine Schwan, former President of the European University Viadrina, who ran twice for German Presidency, also speaks out for more power to the citizens in Europe. For the German political scientist, the European crisis “can only be overcome if we build a strong, thriving civil society in Europe. The European Citizens’ Initiative could help us move from a Europe run by technocrats and executives to a Europe of the people”. 

Moreover, the petition has received a positive response from European deputy Beatriz Becerra, who supports the initiative and promises to take up Democracy International’s demands in her parliamentary reporting about the ECI.  

Next steps of the campaign

The signature campaign will run until September, when the European Commission and Parliament will decide on the future of the European Citizens’ Initiative. Democracy International will then hand over all signatures in a public event in the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, Democracy International will closely monitor the review process of the European Citizens’ Initiative in the European institutions and advocate for a thorough reform of the rules governing the ECI (read our reform proposals here). The European Commission recently published its report on the implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative, which is in use since 1st April 2012. This report is now under scrutiny by civil society organisations, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic Social Committee, all demanding real democracy in the EU. Democracy International has been invited by several of the European institutions to present its suggestions for the revision. 

Please help spread the petition

Democracy International calls upon all citizens and supportive civil society organisations right across Europe to sign the call to action and to help spread the word.  

Toolkit available

Please see the user guide on how to embed the campaign tools (“widget”) into your website. You also find this user guide for download below.

The campaign photo can be downloaded here. Yet credits must be given to the photographer Michael Erhardsson, who provided the photo for the campaign pro bono.    

Right now we have a window of opportunity for democratic change in Europe. Let's use this chance now!

Text by Cora Pfafferott


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