In view of the European Commission’s openly hostile attitude to the new pro-family citizens’ initiative “Mum, Dad & Kids”, one has reason to wonder whether the Commission’s decision to determine the 11th December 2016 as the end date for this initiative has not the deliberate purpose of reducing as far as possible keeping the time during which signatures can be collected as short as possible inorder to reduce the initiatives chances for success.
MEP Marijana Petir (PPE, Croatia) has submitted a question for written answer (Nr. E-000211/2016) to the Commission:
Subject: ECI registration
The minutes of the Commission’s meeting of 9 December 2015 note that decisions to officially register the ‘Mum Dad & Kids’ and ‘European Asylum Initiative’ ECIs would both ‘take effect on 11 December 2015’. A press release from the same day states that ‘Mum Dad & Kids’ would be officially registered ‘by 15 December 2015’, and the ‘European Asylum Initiative’ ‘by 4 January 2016’. In reality ‘Mum Dad & Kids’ was officially registered on 11 December 2015, whereas the ‘European Asylum Initiative’ is still not registered. This means that the one-year period for ‘Mum Dad & Kids’ is already running even though the online system for collecting signatures has not yet been established, whereas the ‘European Asylum Initiative’ is given time to set up its online collection system before the official collection period begins.
What is the explanation and legal basis for this difference in treatment? What explains the apparent contradiction between the minutes, the press release, and the Commission’s actions?
Does the Commission believe it has the right to determine the beginning (and the end) of the signature collection period as it pleases, thus favouring some ECIs while disadvantaging others?