While the negotiations on the new main ECI regulation (Regulation 2019/788) were largely finalized in 2018, the specific rules at national level were largely finalized in 2019 (with the exception of the delay in Germany).
Nearly all ECI organizers have reported about the massively burdensome ID-number requirement in France and other countries which has prevented thousands of citizens to sign an ECI as this is considered as too sensitive data to be shared on a ECI signature list. Our past research has revealed that ID-number requirements in the ECI context are not necessary for the verification process. And what was even more scandalous: countries like France, Greece and Bulgaria have requested ID-umbers from ECI supporters but they actually did not even use them for ECI verification of statements of support. After years of advocacy work and exchange with the French authorities, the European Data Protection Supervisor and European Commission staffers we are glad that at least France finally has decided to delete the ID-number requirement which will considerably improve ECI use in this country.
In particular France has confirmed that they will use Part A of Annex III of the new Regulation 2019/788 on the ECI, meaning that the data to be provided by French signatories will not have to include the ID number anymore. More generally, data to be provided by signatories is reduced across the board under the new Regulation. In particular, for all countries requiring the provision of an ID number (and ID type), the only additional data to be provided is the full name.See Annex III of the new ECI regulation. Unfortunately however the majority of EU member states still require citizens to provide personal data such as ID-numbers.