The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) allows at least one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU member states to suggest legislative proposals that could be brought forward by the European Commission.
The European Parliament and the Council of the EU agreed on a legislative text regulating the ECI, already foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty, on 15 December 2010. However, initiatives can only be considered from early 2012.
Greenpeace has already submitted the first ECI, calling on the Commission to ban genetically modified crops until a new independent, ethical, scientific body is established to assess their impact.
This might bring the EU closer to its citizens and help it to become more democratic. However, how the EU responds to citizens’ suggestions and who is able to make these proposals remains to be seen.