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Title: The European Citizens’ Initiative Reform: Does it Matter?
Authors: Parol, Agnieszka
Keywords: European Citizens’ Initiative; direct democracy; indirect legislative initiative; participatory democracy
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Wydawnictwo KUL
Citation: "Review of European and Comparative Law" 2020, T. 40, nr 1, s. 67-90
Abstract: The reform of the entered into force at the beginning of 2020. The changes are intended to popularize and to give effect to the ECI, especially through the strengthening of the position of this tool as an instrument of e-democracy and the reinforcing of the principle of subsidiarity and the model of multi-level governance. The reform is a step in the right direction, however, it is rather unlikely that it could boost the ECI as an instrument of indirect legislative initiative, which so far has had little impact. The sheer scale of this issue can be illustrated by the juxtaposition of the over seventy registered ECIs with the merely two initiatives in which the EC decided to follow up with legislative proposals. Such a situation results from the fact that the ECI is treated as a subsidiary tool to the instruments of representative democracy, generally accepted as the basis of the system. This is also the effect of the way the quasi-monopoly of the European Commission in the area of legislative initiative is interpreted. In consequence, the effectiveness of the ECI is currently perceived through the prism of collecting over one million signatures and conducting noncommittal dialogue. Nevertheless, in this context it should be remembered that the most effective form of encouraging the civil society to participate in political activity is to reinforce its agency. Indeed, increasing the impact of the ECI on decision-making processes is not dependent on potential changes in primary or secondary law. The change of attitude will suffice. Indeed, an increased number of legislative proposals stemming from the ECIs might be the result of a change in EU political culture and a greater respect for democratic rules.
ISSN: 2545-384X (eISSN)
Appears in Collections:Review of European and Comparative Law, 2020, Vol. 40, No 1

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