ECIs Urgently Need a New Deadline Extension
The pandemic situation has dramatically worsened in the past days. In order to reduce the number of infections, most governments have decided to implement far-reaching measures including lock-downs and curfews which strongly restrict ECIs from outreaching to citizens and run their campaigns. We thus urgently call on the EU Commission to take the necessary measures for another ECI deadline extension. The second Corona-wave does not come unexpectedly and without notice. Despite several requests directed to the EU Commission there is no decision yet on the subject even so the first deadlines for ongoing ECIs run out within the next seven days, see overview here. The new Covid
–regulation on the ECI foresees the possibility to extend the deadline for another preliminary three months (with maximum extension period of 12months) if the Commission adopts the respective implementing acts.
The Commission is monitoring the situation and has asked Member States to provide information so the Commission can assess whether another extension is justified. They have discussed the matter at the last meeting of the expert group October 2oth 2020 based on a online presentation. Based on this document one can find some indications of the methodology proposed and of the assessment of the situation at the time of the meeting.
More information on all expert group meetings here.
From a practitioner’s view it is difficult to understand why the EU is still waiting for so long although the legal options for a deadline extension are on the table. It is equally worth to mention that not all ECIs are 100% confident in having the sufficient financial resources to extend their campaigns another time. In order to assess their challenging situation and plan their campaigns they need however certainty about the EU Commissions decision as soon as possible. We now urgently need a dead-line extension to protect the ECI instrument from further damage.