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“Give me Five!” – Five Final Amendments To Make ECI Reform More Meaningful

The European Parliament (EP) is scheduled to vote on the Report on the ECI by Tuesday on 13 June 2023.  The EP has published five crucial amendments that need to be included in the current EP text in order to make this ECI report more meaningful. You find these five amendments in text plain below (changes in bold). More background on the subject here.

Amendment  1 on Paragraph 15

15. Welcomes the setting up of the ECI Expert Group; considers it, however, important that the views of experts from relevant civil society organisations are adequately taken into account within the Expert Group in accordance with Parliament’s resolution of 14 February 2017 on control of the Register and composition of the Commission’s expert groups and the decision of the European Ombudsman in her strategic inquiry OI/6/2014/NF concerning the composition and transparency of European Commission expert groups;

Amendment  2 on Paragraph 17

17. Considers that more in-depth discussion is needed on the concerns expressed in valid ECIs beyond the debate in Parliament; is of the view that an important means of improving debate and strengthening follow-up is to combine ECIs that were able to gather at least one million valid signatures with Citizens’ Panels, which should deliberate on the objectives of the respective ECIs and adopt recommendations on how to follow up on them;

Amendment 3 on Paragraph 23

23. Calls on the Commission to reintroduce the option for organisers to use individual online collection systems, including the security and data protection conditions thereof, with a view to strengthening the digital dimension of the ECI and enabling organisers to plan and perform campaigns that take into account the multilingual and multicultural context of the different Member States and regions;

Amendment 4 on Paragraph 26 a (new)

26a. Calls on the Commission to ensure a balanced and transparent composition of the ECI Expert Group, including in particular the involvement of experts from civil society organisations on a permanent basis, in order to take account of all relevant aspects when preparing legal acts and improve transparency and democratic participation;

Amendment 5 on Paragraph 30 a (new)

30a. Calls on the Commission to improve debate and strengthen the follow-up of successful ECIs by combining them with Citizens’ Panels; calls on the Commission to evaluate how to best combine the ECI with mechanisms of deliberative democracy, such as Citizens’ Panels, in cooperation with the co-legislators, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions and the relevant agencies;

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