Cuesta-López, Víctor and Garcia, Louis Bouza and Szeligowska, Dorota and Mincheva, Elitsa (2012) Papers prepared for the European Citizens' Initiative - a first assessment organised by the European General Studies' Programme of the College of Europe, Bruges, 25 January 2011. Bruges Political Research Paper No. 24, February 2012. [Working Paper]
The European Citizens‘ Initiative (hereafter ECI‘), the first supranational instrument of direct democracy, creates an additional direct link between the European Union citizens and the institutions of the Union. As one of the most innovative elements introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, the ECI is often considered to bear great potential for the further development of transnational democracy. It does, however, also entail a number of (potential) challenges for the EU institutions and for politically active citizens – and, in the long term, perhaps also for institutions and political actors within the Member States of the Union. On 25 January 2011, a month following the settlement of the inter-institutional compromise on the final text of the Regulation on the ECI,* the European General Studies Programme of the College of Europe organized a one-day workshop to discuss the origin and modalities for implementation of the ECI, as well as its possible effect on the political system of the EU. Participants included representatives of the Commission, the Parliament and the Belgian Presidency, and academics. This research paper includes some of the contributions which had initially been prepared for this workshop. They have subsequently been extended in light of the discussions held during that event and updated in light of subsequent developments.
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