The letter will be submitted to other European Citizens Initiatives' promoters and it asks for a meeting with Commissioner Jourova and her staff to present concrete proposals.
Feel free to add comments, suggestions and integrations in the comments below. The letter will be officially presented during the EUMANS Weekly Meeting "The Future of European Citizens Political Rights" on the 11th of February 2021 and it is part of the Equal Dignity for Participatory Democracy proposal carried on by EUMANS.
LETTER TO COMMISSIONER JOUROVA - DRAFT
Dear Commissioner JOUROVÁ,
We write to you as promoters and supporters of European Citizens Initiatives. We are citizens who made the choice and the commitment to trust the institutional participatory democracy instruments provided by the European Treaties to propose reforms and regulation which can shape the future of Europe in a more sustainable and democratic direction.
We welcomed the input of the European Commission (received by the European Parliament and the European Council) to extend the deadline for the collection of signatures due to the limitations that Covid-19 is imposing across all EU Member States.
However the pandemic - on this matter as on different other burning issues - is revealing the fragility of the official instruments available for citizens to positively interact with the EU institutions and "to help shape the EU". We face an (almost) impossible task in collecting the signatures not only because of the covid-19 related restrictions, but because only a tiny minority of EU citizens who have the right to sign ECIs know what it is an ECI and why it is so preciously different from any other form of petitioning and campaigning.
This letter is a follow-up to the letter that some of us sent you in December 2019. At that time we were asking for:
- 1) Level the budget currently invested in the European Citizens Initiatives to what is currently invested to inform citizens on elections and on the functioning of representative democracy;
2) Invite all EU public and private broadcasters, and digital media outlets to increase the coverage on participatory democracy tools and proposals, starting from European Citizens Initiatives.
In particular, we would like to ask you, Commissioner Jourova, and the the European Commission to:
- 1) Inform all EU Citizens through a direct mailing action about the ongoing European Citizens Initiative and the right of EU citizens to sign existing European Citizens Initiatives. This action could be done in the next 60 days considering the terms of the extension that you guaranteed to the existing ECIS
2) Integrate into the negotiation around the Info Point new contracts measures to guarantee access to services and infrastructure that can help ECI promoters to scale the size of their outreach on the possibility to sign the ECI
3) Organise an online event targeted to local, national and EU media to inform them about the proposals of the ECIs and offer an opportunity for European journalists to cover adequately the political efforts carried on by the European citizens who don't belong to organised parties and large civil society organisations to impact the European public sphere and see their rights of participation fulfilled
Together we want to ask you the opportunity to shift the perspective on participatory democracy: not a secret tool for passionate citizens, but a powerful instrument of capacity building and trust among the EU Citizens and the EU Public sphere. As well as an essential contribution for the political debate and decision-maing process.
We, therefore, ask you for a meeting to be held in the next weeks with you, to allow us to present you these proposals (some of which had also been included in the Democracy Action Plan Feedback) and to contribute to reinforcing the extraordinary work you are doing to guarantee a healthy and functioning democracy in the European Union.
Virginia Fiume - StopGlobalWarming.eu European Citizens Initiative Coordinator and Coordinator of EUMANS