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Alliance for democracy

Alliance for democracy


A lot of European NGOs are interested in promoting the European Citizens’ Initiative. Currently Democracy International and AEGEE Europe are investigating the possibilities for a broad campaign to promote more democracy in the EU. A first meeting was organised in The Center (Brussels) on 15th December 2005. 25 Participants from different European NGOs attended the meeting. Below is a short introduction of the idea and a brief summary of the discussion.

A more democratic EU is crucial for the further development of Europe. The EU has become a reality that has also changed the democratic life within the member states since more and more decisions are taken on the European level. This development raises the question of how and by whom these decisions are made. At present, European citizens have little and only indirect influence on EU politics. How can this “democratic deficit” be overcome?

In this context, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) would constitute a first step towards a more democratic EU. It would make it possible for EU citizens to express their wishes and thus to put their concerns on the political agenda of the Union. However, before this instrument can be used as such, it has to be implemented by the EU. The prospects for this implementation are at the moment uncertain. That’s why citizens have to engage themselves to get the initiative right applied in practice.

The idea of the European Citizens Initiative is not new. However, its inclusion in the European Constitution was the result of hard work and intense struggle by many citizen movements (read the story). Even so, Article 47-4 of the draft constitutional treaty left some very important aspects of the implementation unclear. For example, the exact number of member states from which such an initiative must come was not defined. The design of the citizens’ initiative is very important. Only if details such as the EU institutions’ support (legal advice, translation, reimbursement) are designed in a user-friendly way can the initiative tool become a strong instrument.

Then we discussed the problem that demanding to implement a provision of the currently stalled EU Constitution could be perceived as cherry picking. It could be construed as such both by Eurosceptics and by the European institutions themselves. However, we are not demanding the introduction of the ECI because it was included in the Constitution, but because it would be a progressive element in European democracy.

As a next step, we have to build a broad alliance. That will take time and no one knows how long exactly. Nevertheless, we agreed that next spring would be a good point in time to launch the campaign.

The next meeting will be organised in Brussels on 20th January.

Please join this meeting and the alliance for a more democratic Europe.


Lars Bosselmann / Ronald Pabst


Next meeting

The next meeting will be organised in Brussels on 20th January.

Please join this meeting and the alliance for a more democratic Europe.

more information / invitation


1. Introduction

2. Discussion

3. The text proposal

4. Next steps

Website Info

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