(31 October 2023) EPSU signed an urgent appeal to the European Commission to respect the European Citizens’ Initiative as a contribution to European democracy together with over 70 other organisations. The reason is that the European Commission ignores its commitments to respond to successful ECIs
To make matters worse, in June 2021, the European Commission made a commitment in response to the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) End the Cage Age. The Commission pledged to present a legislative proposal to phase out and ultimately prohibit the use of cages for animals, aligning with the ECI’s objectives. This commitment, with a deadline set by the end of 2023, marked a significant stride in addressing the concerns of 1.4 million European citizens who rallied behind this critical cause. But no follow up has been given since.
How the Commission deals with his ECI is a litmus test for the credibility of the ECI itself and European participatory democracy. The groups demand a substantive discussion on this matter. The Commission must stand by its word and, in doing so, protect European democracy by demonstrating responsiveness to its citizens’ voices. The EU’s credibility and the trust of its citizens in democratic processes are at stake.
EPSU was behind the organisation of the first ever successful ECI, the right to water and sanitation. To date it is one of the very few ECIs that saw some reflection in EU legislation.