The ECI as a tool for participatory democracy: a comparative analysys

This proposal aims at identifying and assessing the structural elements of a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) from a critical perspective. The presentation will largely draw on the existing literature on the ECI and on the results of a comparative analysis between the latter and similar agenda-setting mechanisms in force at state level.Only EU member states have been taken into consideration on this occasion. Since some scholars has pointed out that national constitutional sytems and institutions are not a suitable benchmark for appraising EU legal instruments, the respective national constitutional contexts will be compactly displayed too. Thus the analysis will offer a more eligible legal and political standard of comparison for the assessment of the ECI as an instrument of participatory democracy, and help to distinguish more accurately between those aspects of the ECI that facilitate citizen’s participation in political issues and those in which there is room for improvement.