Last week the first million-signature citizen’s initiative was laid at Brussels’ doorstep, to lobby for a GM crops moratorium, but the official in charge said he could not accept it because the rules had not been put in place.
John Dalli, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs, said: “We cannot accept any initiative at this stage.’‘
Now, however, the European Parliament has adopted the set of rules needed to give participative democracy a boost in the EU, the European Citizen’s Initiative, as promised in the Lisbon Treaty.
MEP Alain Lamassoure said: “They gain the right to get involved directly, publicly, massively, over the heads of their governments and elected representatives.”
This way, a million ordinary Europeans at least of voting age and from at least seven of the EU states can ask the European Commission to draft legislation on a matter they consider important.
Following the developments in the parliament, euronews point man Christophe Midol-Monnet said: “Following this vote, the 27 member states have 12 months to integrate the citizen’s initiative into there national law books. It will come into effect at the end of 2011, a new democratic instrument within all EU citizen’s reach.”