What does a Swiss pro-European think about the EU? I was eager to find this out and therefore I spoke to Lukas Wegmüller, co-leader of the New European Movement Switzerland. The organisation advocates Switzerland’s accession to the EU.
As a Swiss citizen, Lukas is used to practicing direct democracy. Four times per year he is called to the polls to decide about citizens’ initiatives, and he has the right to initiate law proposals. From his perspective, democracy is in a poor state in the EU. For example, the European Citizens’ Initiative has too many flaws and its track record of success is poor. But there is hope.

In April Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the EU Commission, announced to improve the legislation that sets out the rules of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). This move is a success of Democracy International and civil society groups that have been advocating a reform of the ECI, the tool that allows us EU citizens to submit legislative proposals to the EU.

The European Commission has just started an open consultation to gather suggestions for improvement of the European Citizens’ Initiative. Individuals and organisations can participate until 16 August 2017 via this link. Democracy International will monitor this process and put pressure on the Commission so that there will be real improvement and more democracy in the EU in the end.

Best regards,
Cora Pfafferott

"The European Citizens' Initiative must become stronger"
"Switzerland’s democracy functions better than the one of the EU. Since its foundation in 1848, Switzerland has developed a very fine-tuned democratic system. Of course, the small size of Switzerland is one of the reasons why it works. We were also lucky in this historic process." Lukas Wegmüller, co-leader of the pro-EU movement, about the strengths and weaknesses of citizen law-making in Switzerland and the EU in this interview.
Photo by The ECI Campaign  
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This Newsletter is published by Democracy International in cooperation with SWI#deardemocracy, people2power, Navigator to Direct Democracy and
Global Forum to Modern Direct Democracy.

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