Organisations from all across Europe are currently gearing up for a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) with the aim of repealing the European Union’s negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade Investor Partnership (TTIP) and not concluding the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The registration of the ECI is planned for July. The collection of signatures is due to start in September 2014.
As of now, more than 100 organisations from 17 EU member states have expressed support for the European Citizens’ Initaitive (ECI) while the EU-wide alliance is constantly growing – Attac groups from a number of EU countries, the European Environmental Bureau, Food and Water Europe and the German branch of Transparency International have already joined the coalition. Campact, Attac, the Munich Environment Institute, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Unit (NABU) and More Democracy Germany (Mehr Demokratie e.V.) coordinate the preparations.
An ECI can request a legislative act from the European Commission and force a hearing at the European Parliament. For an ECI to be successful, at least one million signatures must be collected. At the same time, country-specific quorums must be achieved in at least seven EU member states. In Germany, for example, the quorum will be 72,000 signatures. France has to collect 55,500 signatures and the United Kingdom and Italy need 54,750 signatures. Estonia, Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus have to collect 4,5000 signatures. The level of the quorum depends on each country’s number of deputies in the European Parliament. The most notorious ECI so far is “right2water”. It led to the exclusion of the liberalisation of water supply from the scope of the EU directive on concessions.
More information on the ECI against TTIP and CETA will be announced at a press conference in Brussels in mid-July 2014. An invitation for the conference will follow. If you wish to be updated on the ECI you can subscribe to the ECI’s press mailing list by contacting Regine Laroche of Mehr Demokratie e.V. (presse@).