On 28 October 2015, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the European Citizens’ Initiative.
In this long text, Parliament expresses its strong support of the European Citizens’ Initiative mechanism, this “unique and innovating agenda-setting tool for participatory democracy” (§ A), which “must be encouraged and supported by all available means” (§ 3). Parliament worries to note that, out of 51 requests to launch an initiative, only three were deemed admissible (§ 8), and “expresses its concern about a potential conflict of interest” (§ 13) of the Commission, which is “judge and party” (§ 15).
The European Parliament “regrets the lack of legislative impact and the discouraging follow-up by the Commission of successful initiatives” (§ 29). It “calls on the Commission to revise the wording of Article 10(c) of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 to allow proper follow-up to a successful ECI” (§ 30).
It even urges “Parliament and its committees, should the Commission fail to put forward a legislative proposal within this 12-month period, to exercise their right, under the terms of Article 225 TFEU, to ask the Commission to submit an appropriate proposal”, taking into account the content of any successful ECI (§ 32).
The ECLJ welcomes this resolution, which manifests the very strong support of the Parliament for the ECI mechanism and criticises the Commission’s attitude. The ECLJ fully shares the position of the European Parliament expressed in this Resolution, and underlines that, through this text, the European Parliament in essence echoes and supports the application of the European Citizens’ Initiative One of Us to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
As a reminder, One of Us challenged the decision of the European Commission not to take any action following the European Citizens’ Initiative One of Us, which demanded the ban of EU funding for activities which destroy or imply the destruction of human embryos and gathered nearly 2 million signatures throughout Europe. The case is pending in Luxembourg.