The ECI as a part of participatory democracy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific


1. The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), implemented in April 2012, is the most recent tool to provide citizens with the opportunity to influence the European Commission, and by extension the European Union policy. One million European citizens, who are eligible to vote in the European parliamentary elections, can ask the European Commission for a new (legislative) act on the topic of their European Citizens' Initiative. Although the ECI put forward new ideas on participatory democracy, it was not the first instrument citizens could use to participate in European policy. The right to petition the European Parliament, the legislative consultation process and even the complaint procedure for the European Ombudsman were available prior to 2012.
2. This contribution will examine the role of the ECI within the EU participatory processes and its influence on legitimacy within the EU. It will focus on the user profile of the citizens participating within the EU and look for ways to counterbalance the Matthew-effect in participatory processes. The ECI cannot be analyzed without considering the system in which it operates. When focusing solely on the ECI, many of its benefits could be overlooked and many drawbacks of the procedure might be overestimated. It is therefore important to use a systemic approach, combining not only legal doctrinal analysis, but also empirical methods and insights derived from political and social sciences. This will allow for a law in action examination and from an added value to the already existing studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNEXT Generation Deliberation Celebration Symposium , Belgium, 10/06/21
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventNEXT Generation Deliberation Celebration Symposium - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 10 Jun 202110 Jun 2021


ConferenceNEXT Generation Deliberation Celebration Symposium


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