The Malta Independent 18 July 2019, Thursday

MEP Marlene Mizzi says new European Citizens' Initiative gives stronger voice to citizens

Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 11:40 Last update: about 5 months ago

In a crucial vote, the European Parliament in Strasbourg approved the new rules for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The updated mechanism intends to enable as many citizens as possible to have a voice, launch and support new initiatives and legislations and to strengthen participatory democracy. 

Speaking immediately, following the vote in plenary, MEP Marlene Mizzi, S&D rapporteur for the Petitions Committee said: “It is indeed very satisfying to see the positive results we got today. I am glad that with my work I have given European citizens a stronger voice by creating a better and more user-friendly ECI mechanism.”

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“In the past years I had the unique opportunity to work directly on this subject. As the S&D spokesperson for the Petitions Committee, I played a key role in shaping the new rules to safeguard and ensure that the ECI instrument is as citizens friendly as possible and lives up to its full potential.

Marlene Mizzi said that “citizens do not trust the European Union. They feel distant and frustrated when it comes to their rights. The European Citizens Initiative is a direct appeal from the people to the EU and an opportunity for citizens to directly shape the political future in Europe.

The aim of the new revised European Citizens’ Initiative is to improve how the ECI functions by addressing technical and bureaucratic shortcomings identified over the past years. The new ECI reform provides more user-friendly rules making the ECI more accessible, less burdensome and easier to use for organisers and supporters.

 “We have created an instrument that will make Europe more democratic, foster debate and participation at European level, including that of young people, and to bring the EU closer to its citizens. With the new rules, young people in Malta will be able to support a European Citizens Initiative from the age of 16. I am so satisfied, that yet again, my work in the EP helped to deliver tangible benefits to our citizens,” said MEP Mizzi.

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