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European Citizens' Initiative - one year old

European Citizens' Initiative - one year old


The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) gives citizens the right to directly engage in setting the legislative agenda for the EU. Once signatures supporting a policy proposal have been collected and verified from at least one million EU citizens, the European Commission is obliged to consider that proposal.


The Commission can, but is not required to, respond by proposing new legislation. The ECI is therefore not a decision-making instrument. The ECI became legally effective on 1 April 2012. The specific legal procedures for launching an ECI are set out in the EU regulation 211/2011.

First Birthday

On first April 2013 the European Citizen Initiative (ECI) celebrates its anniversary of being effectively in practice. Within this year, 27 ECIs were launched. One ECI, the initiative “Water is a human right”, made it to gather more than the necessary amount of one million signatures. All the other ECIs are still far away from the "magic line" of one million signatures.

What makes an ECI successful, which challenges does an ECI face, which legal barriers does an ECI have to overcome? Civil society organisations who lobbied for the ECI have analysed the ECI one year in practice. 

Read the BRIEFING by Democracy International, The European Citizens Action Service, the ECI Campaign and the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe here.

Also we have produced a TABLE listing (the state of) all ECIs launched withing the past 365 days, see here


The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) has been included in the Treaty on European Union. This is a result of our work. With several campaigns we successfully worked for the inclusion of the ECI. Afterwards we promoted citizen-friendly rules governing its use.

Campaign for a Citizen-friendly (ECI)

We campaigned together with The ECI Campaign for an immediate introduction of the ECI. In 2006/7 110 NGOs and 41 MEPs supported our demands.

Homepage: citizens-initiative.eu/

More info ECI: pdf-24 pages



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