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