Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Seminar

European Citizens’ Initiative and participatory democracy in the EU

  • Flavio Grazian, Participatory Democracy Manager at the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)
Wednesday 9 March 2022
EU Seminar

Through the European Citizens’ Initiative, citizens of the EU can shape European policy-making by asking the European Commission to propose legislation on a matter of its competence. The initiative was introduced as a tool to strengthen the participation of citizens in EU policy making and give them an opportunity to influence its policy agenda. To date, there have been several dozen initiatives, asking the EU to secure free access to drinking water, ban generic pesticide glyphosate, and phase-out of nuclear energy across the EU. Only a handful of these, however, actually reached the legislators. In this seminar we will hear more about the role of the European Citizens’ Initiative in advancing participatory democracy in the EU, its past successes and failures, and some recently developed tools to enhance the success of ECI as part of the legislative process.

The European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) is a Brussels-based international non-profit organisation, with a pan-European membership of more than 130 civil society organisations. Its mission is to promote and defend citizens’ rights and develop mechanisms to increase citizens’ and citizen organisations’ democratic participation in and engagement with the EU. Flavio Grazian is Participatory Democracy Manager at ECAS, and project coordinator of the European Citizens’ Initiative Forum. He has recently co-authored the study “Next Level Participation: Citizen-Driven E-Democracy Tools” for the European Liberal Forum (2020).

You can find more information on his profile here.

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