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Citizens’ initiative

In order to increase citizens' involvement in the democratic life of the EU, Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union establishes a citizens’ initiative right. Article 24 outlines the general principles for an EU regulation setting down practical conditions and procedures of European Citizens' Initiative (ECI).

The aim of an ECI is to invite the Commission to put forward a proposal in any field in which it has the power to propose legislation.

The practical procedures and conditions for exercising this right of initiative are laid down in Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 which entered into force in 2011. An ECI requires the backing of at least one million citizens coming from at least 7 EU countries. The minimum number of signatories for each EU country is stipulated in the regulation.

To launch an ECI, citizens must form a 'citizens' committee'. This must comprise at least 7 EU citizens who are resident in at least 7 of the 28 EU countries.