European Citizens' Initiative
“New Deal 4 Europe - for a European special Plan for Sustainable Development and Employment”
Art. 11 of the Treaty of the European Union states as follows: “Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties”.
We are talking about the “European Citizens’ Initiative” (E.C.I.), which is an instrument of participatory democracy that has already been used for other matters (e.g. for the campaign on ‘water as a public good’). It gives to the European citizens the possibility to invite the Commission to make a legislative proposal in different fields, such as the social, economic or environmental ones.
On 7th January, a new E.C.I. titled “New Deal 4 Europe - for a European special Plan for Sustainable Development and Employment” was registered upon the initiative of several pro-European movements and of many civil society associations, trade unions and political movements.
The Campaign to collect 1 million signatures is expected to start next March, provided that the Commission will recognize it as eligible.
Why a European special Plan is absolutely necessary?
Five years after the beginning of the longest and deepest financial and economic crisis that Europe has faced since the end of World War II, it is the more and more evident that the existing European governance has not yet set up an effective European economic policy to overcome the crisis.
On the one hand, the European pact for development and employment, adopted by the European Council on 28th June 2012, is not sufficient to allow a sustainable re-launch of the European economy or to fight effectively against unemployment. Actually, only 5 billion Euros were assigned to the financing of development. In other words, this is just a small drop in a large ocean.
On the other hand, several European countries have national budgets that are insufficient to contribute to the collective effort to get out of the financial crisis. They are unable to play a decisive role to relaunch European economy and are unable to fight against this epidemic unemployment, also because of the austerity measures decided upon at the European level (i.e. the Maastricht’s criteria, the Fiscal Compact and so on). These measures leave the member states with no margin to plan a sustainable development.
Politicians, economists and opinion makers state that Europe must overcome austerity and work to relaunch the economy. This is certainly true, but this statement alone is not enough.
Europe needs more: a real collective Plan that is not just an add-on to national plans, which would be ineffective and costly.
Why a European Citizens’ Initiative is necessary?
In order to put in place such a Plan a strong political commitment is necessary, beyond the intergovernmental interests that continue to prevail. In our opinion, the ECI represents the only way for European citizens to have their say. Especially in the next months, by exploiting the incoming European elections.
A substantial impetus by all European citizens is essential to mobilise and push the forces to realise such a Plan. With this E.C.I., European citizens call for a New Deal for Europe to overcome the economic crisis, which is largely due to generalised austerity policies.
Our achievements to the present moment are as follows:
- We created eight national committees (Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Hungary and Greece). The creation of national committees in other countries is in progress;
- We created a European Committee that represents the ECI Campaign at the European Commission;
- We are working on a multi-language website (www.newdeal4europe.eu)to spread the information about this ECI, which will be linked to the Commission’s server for the collection of signatures, according to the rules and procedures established by the European Commission. We created also a Facebook page (NewDeal4Europe) and a Twitter account (@NewDeal4Europe) to spread the news;
- We created a Newsletter for the ECI Campaign in different languages. This is the first issue:
In the near future a Spanish edition will be issued and we are planning and working also for a German one, so to guarantee a widespread information on the ECI Campaign.
Therefore, we are inviting you to join the Campaign for the European Citizens’ Initiative “New Deal 4 Europe”, for a European Union ableto give a concrete perspective to the young generations, thanks to a “European Special Plan for Sustainable Development and Employment”.
To contact local groups and become active in your city/country you can:
- write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the ECI Campaign;
- forward the Newsletter to the mailing list of your organisation and/or to whom it may be interested, in order to spread it all over Europe.
On behalf of the organising team of the ECI “New Deal 4 Europe”
Newsletter Team. Reference: Antonio Longo, email email@example.com
Website & Social Network Team. Reference: Nicola Vallinoto, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Translators' Team. Reference: Roberta Carbone, email: email@example.com