|Author (Corporate)||Council of the European Union, European Parliament|
|Series Title||Official Journal of the European Union|
|Series Details||L 231, Pages 7-11|
Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 20 May 2020, setting out temporary measures which extend several deadlines linked to the European Citizens' Initiative (ECIs) due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Regulation (EU) 2019/788 lays down rules on the European Citizens' Initiative, which is designed to encourage the participation of citizens in the democratic and political life of the European Union (EU). The procedure allows them to call on the European Commission to propose new laws.
The pandemic and the measures implemented to tackle it inevitably had an impact on the ECI, which is an instrument that depends on the engagement of EU citizens. The national confinement measures and more generally the omnipresence of the pandemic make it nearly impossible for organisers to successfully continue their local campaigning activities and the collection of paper statements of support to help them gather the required statements within the set period of 12 months. Member States and the European institutions have also certain obligations as regards the verification (including certification) of the validity of the collected statements of support and the examination of a successful initiative. These obligations are equally time-bound.
The proposed Regulation adopts temporary measures that allow to extend the collection periods of these initiatives. Similar temporary measures should be taken to allow Member States to request the European Commission for an extension of the verification period. Likewise, the European Parliament and the Commission should be allowed to postpone the public hearing and the meeting with the organisers. The corresponding period for examining a valid initiative should be extended accordingly.
The proposal was put forward by the Commission on 20 May 2020. Representatives from Member States (COREPER) adopted a general approach on this draft law on 17 June, followed by the plenary of the European Parliament on 19 June. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 25 June. The Parliament endorsed it on 9 July, followed by the Council on 14 July. The Act was signed by the co-legislators on the following day and published in the Official Journal on 17 July.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Keywords||COVID-19 (Coronavirus), EU Citizenship, European Citizens' Initiatives [ECIs]
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|