European Ombudsman supports pro-family citizens’ initiative against European Commission

defensora2beuropeaImportant moral victory for the pro-family European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “Mum Dad & Kids”: Emily O´Reilly, the European Ombudsman, has written to the European Commission calling on the Commission to reconsider the manner in which it interprets and applies the ECI regulation. Her letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, which was published on July 13th, refers to the ongoing Public Consultation on the ECI and adds a number of her own recommendations.

Notably, the Ombudsman considers that  the signature gathering should start when organisers are ready for it: either on the date when the OCS is certified or at a date chosen by the organisers themselves (within a given timeframe), and not on a date arbitrarily chosen by the European Commission. Continue reading


European Citizens’ Initiative: How serious is the European Parliament in addressing the issue?

On 26 February the European Parliament intends to hold a Public Hearing on “The European Citizens’ Initiative” – more specifically on the Implementation of Regulation 211/2011. This apparently comes as a reaction to widespread criticism that the ECI, an instrument of participatory democracy newly created by the Lisbon Treaty 2009, is not living up to its promises. Such criticism is voiced not only by NGOs, but also in an investigation currently conducted by the European Ombudsman.

Regrettably, the draft programme reveals that the European Parliament follows its habitual pattern of behaviour: the Europarlamentarians prefer listening to themselves rather than to the citizens. Continue reading