The Next Big Thing
In late 2009, Europe was given a new "constitution" with the Lisbon Treaty. Now, two years later, one of the key innovations of this new treaty, the European Citizens' Initiative, is about to become fully operational. For the very first time in world history, citizens across national borders will be able to determine the common political agenda by way of a transnational direct democratic procedure. Yet, after the agreement of the EU institutions just before Christmas 2010, a considerable amount of preparatory work still has to be done before the first European Citizens' Initiatives can be launched and registered. This collection consists of, among other things, the implementation of the new EU regulation into national law, as Member States will be responsible for electronic signature gathering systems in their territories and for the verification of signatures given by their citizens. Also, much instructional and informational work is about to begin in order to clearly communicate the options and limitations of the new participative procedure. Finally, a genuine pan-European and democratic infrastructure of support has to be established in order to insure that the new instrument is a tool for everyone. Making Europe ready for the next big thing, the Citizens' Initiative is clearly described and explained through the contributions found in this book.
Publication Date: 3/6/2011