The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is the first participatory tool giving citizens the formal right of agenda-setting towards the European Commission!
The instrument allows citizens to propose the European Commission to legislate in a field of its competences provided that they collect at least 1 million signatures across Europe in 1 year-time (respecting national quotas in at least 7 countries).
The ECI support centre is a joint initiative of the European Citizen Action Service, Democracy International and Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe.
The ECI support centre is a not-for-profit service, whoose purpose is to provide advice and help to ECI organizers before and during the process of launching and implementing an ECI.
This service aims at complementing the support which is available through other institutional channels (e.g. the European Commission contact point, the Economic and Social Committee intermediary role etc.).
It will be available free of charge. It will be neutral to the ECI content treating equally all requests.
The ECI support centre will provide information and support to citizens and will organize and manage proactively contributions to the revision in 2015.
The European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) was created in 1991 as an international non-profit organisation, independent of political parties, commercial interests and the EU Institutions. ECAS's mission is to enable NGOs and individuals to make their voice heard within the EU by providing advice on how to lobby, fundraise, and defend European citizenship rights.
ECAS aims to strengthen the voice of citizens and civil society with the EU Institutions. This is pursued through a 12-point programme of activities organised round 3 Cs:
Citizens' rights. The association runs Your Europe Advice for DG Markt and the EU Rights Clinic.
Civil society. With 150 members a funding guide and monthly newsletter, ECAS reaches out beyond European associations established round the EU. ECAS has been active in training for successive enlargements.
Citizen participation. The association has participated in the EU-wide citizens' consultations, run its own citizens' panels and supported European citizens' initiatives through advice and collective advocacy.
Democracy International (DI)on strengthening tools and procedures that integrate the will of the people into political decisions. These instruments can be referenda on EU treaties, citizens' initiatives and fair electoral systems. One example of Democracy International's work is the European citizens' initiative lobbied with other organisations into the EU Treaties. The European citizens' initiative is the first transnational citizens' initiative ever in the world.
These are Democracy International's core activities:
• Advising individual citizens on building a direct democracy organisation at national or transnational level • Giving presentations about direct democracy to citizens who want to learn more • Organising events and hosting conferences to exchange knowledge with key actors and to build strong networks • Campaigning to realize political goals
Democracy International is an independent membership organisation funded by fees and individual donations.
Modern direct democracy facilitates popular sovereignty within the framework of a representative system by giving every citizen the right to initiate new proposals (e.g. new laws or constitutional amendments) and to take part in the final decision-making. As modern direct democracy has become much more common in Europe and worldwide, IRI Europe conducts research activities, offers educational programmes and is involved in analytical and consultation work.
IRI Europe is a non-partisan, non profit-making association with headquarters in Marburg/Germany and brings together some of the best experts on and practitioners of the initiative and referendum process across Europe and the world. IRI Europe is part of the emerging global network of IRI think-tanks, which also includes the US-based Initiative & Referendum Institute and IRI Asia.
Fondation EurActiv PoliTech was founded in 2004 under Belgian law. Fondation’s mission is: ‘faciliter l’efficacité et transparence de la Communauté des Acteurs Européens’. Its activities include: Social Media, Political Technologies & EU stakeholders’ projects department: The social media & political technologies (eParticipation, eDemocracy, eCitizenship, eGovernance, eGovernment) arm of EurActiv network, aiming to reinvent politics & governance in cyberspace. It includes the EU stakeholders & policies blogging platform BlogActiv.eu (1st source of content on Europe’s), Social Media, Web 2.0, political technologies & mobile & smart device applications.