Since its inception, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has been promoted as a way to strengthen citizens’ participation in EU decision-making. The legal framework of the ECI, however, has received severe criticism for not allowing the mechanism to reach its full participatory potential. After a period of review, the Commission recently published a Proposal to replace Regulation No 211/2011, which currently sets out the rules for bringing an ECI. This paper analyses whether and how the reforms can contribute to the development of the ECI as a democratic tool. Taking stock of the suggested reforms, the paper questions whether the Commission and other EU institutions have a clear vision of the ECI’s future to provide a sense of direction to the reform process. Finally, the paper assesses whether the suggested reforms may affect the current dynamics between participatory democracy and representative democracy, thus signalling a new era for citizens’ participation in the EU.
Our next Annual Conference will take place from July 6-9, 2021. It will be held in a completely novel way as a fully online Conference: ICON•S Mundo. Stay tuned.
The Call for Papers for ICON•S Mundo is now closed. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of May.
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