Aimed at increasing participation and direct democracy, the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) was introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon to give European citizens a chance to influence EU decision-making. The ECI allows at least one million citizens from at least seven European countries to present the European Commission with a legislative proposal.
Fraternité 2020, the first ECI to be registered, is pushing for enhancing EU exchange programmes – like the Erasmus Programme or the European Voluntary Service (EVS) – in order to contribute to a united Europe based on solidarity among citizens. This way, Europe’s first citizens’ initiative asks for 3% of the EU budget being spent on EU exchange programmes starting from 2014. The very first citizens’ initiative, officially registered by the European Commission on May 9 (Europe Day), 2012, builds on previous contributions such as the Europe 2030 Report prepared by the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe and wishes to help bring the EU closer to its citizens.
Fraternité 2020 is so far supported by around 20 academics on EU affairs, about 100 NGOs active in organising EVS exchanges and projects or representing students’ interests, and around 50 MEPs representing all major parties in the European Parliament.
Fraternité 2020 has started collecting signatures on October 26, 2012. It has until November 1, 2013, to collect 1 million signatures online from across the EU.
In order to be able to sign up to a European citizens’ initiative you need to be an EU citizen (national of a member state) old enough to vote in European Parliament elections (18 except in Austria, where the voting age is 16). If you fulfil this requirement, sign directly online now: http://sign.F2020.eu
European Alternatives supports Fraternité 2020 – why not do the same?