The ECI Campaign is an organization exclusively working for the successful introduction and implementation of the European Citizens’ Initiative right – the world’s first tool of participatory, transnational and digital democracy. We are independent, neutral in policy, non-profit and non-EU financed. Our work is carried by the invaluable input of volunteers, like-minded partners, donors and a small coordination team.
The ECI Campaign is nearly as old as the ECI instrument itself. It was launched in 2004 by engaged citizens, including those activists who had already successfully campaigned for the introduction of the ECI during the European Constitutional Convention in 2002/03. Since then the network has been gradually growing. Today, The ECI Campaign is a grassroots coalition of concerned citizens, pro-democracy activists and over 100 European NGOs dedicated to the creation and campaigner-friendly implementation of a European Citizens’ Initiative right.
The ECI Campaign is in constant exchange with finalized, ongoing and future ECIs, as well as with the institutional counterparts. Meanwhile, many organizers of the so far 21 completed ECIs have joined The ECI Campaign. They, better than anyone else, know how often the ECI does not work and to what extent it needs urgent improvement. At the same time completed ECIs help us to provide the knowledge transfer and advice to future ECI organizers about how to successfully run an ECI.
We are determined to make the ECI a powerful new democratic instrument that changes the way Europe is run. As single citizens we are powerless in the face of big EU governance and multinational corporations. However, when European citizens with shared concerns stand together, they can become an unstoppable force that puts the EU under pressure of public opinion through the ECI. This is why we need an ECI instrument that works effectively and triggers European citizens’ engagement!
Unfortunately, various European and national officials are reluctant to increase citizen participation and have been pushing for stringent conditions that tend to render the ECI inaccessible and toothless. All ECI campaigns so far, whether run by well-resourced organisations or by volunteers on a shoestring budget, have faced similar barriers that stem from inherent weaknesses in the ECI regulation. Many procedures are unnecessarily bureaucratic and burdensome.
Since the early beginnings of the ECI in 2012, The ECI Campaign has organized a number of ECI conferences, workshops and exchanges between ECI organisers, campaigning experts and decision-makers at EU and national level. A radical simplification and harmonisation of the ECI regulation and related rules is a key result and demand of these debates. They are documented in our latest publication “An ECI That Works! Learning from the first two years of the European Citizens’ Initiative”. For our specific proposals on how to improve the ECI instrument click here.
In 2015, the ECI’s governing rules will be up for review by the European Parliament and the Council. The ECI Campaign will use this rare opportunity and campaign for an effective revision of the ECI rules. Now is the perfect time to begin preparing for this possible reform and to fine-tune recommendations based on the real-world experience of ECI organizers. We invite you to join and help us to make the ECI work so it will become an instrument by the citizens, of the citizens and for the citizens.
If you would like to contribute to our work and get involved in the campaign for citizen-friendly ECI, please contact us.