Citizens first!:
Ideas for Improving and Extending the European Citizens' Initiative

Thursday, 27 june

eci part 1 - original version

eci part 1 - english version

water - original version

water - english version

eci part 2 - original version

eci part 2 - english version


This one-day conference will look at the first year of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) and discuss how citizens and organisations could use this instrument more effectively as well as options of further development of citizen participation in Europe. The focus will be on the strengthening of the ECI as tool of participative democracy and on the empowerment of ECI organisers: what can the EU institutions do, what can citizens and NGOs do to make campaigns better prepared, better funded and more visible? How to find the right issues for ECIs and how to achieve broad debates? Based on that, the hosts of the conference MEPs Gerald Häfner, Sandrine Beliér and Isabelle Durant want to look beyond the current limitation of the ECI and ask how we shall proceed to strengthen instruments of citizen participation in EU matters.


by MEP Rebecca Harms, Co-Chair of the Greens/EFA Group in the EP

Opening debate
“The ECI as agenda-setting tool – an unfulfilled promise?”
with MEP Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament

Keynote speech:
Andreas Gross (MP, Switzerland)
“Citizens first - how the ECI can be a start for more democracy in Europe”

to the programme “One year ECI: What next?”
MEP Gerald Häfner
, co-rapporteur of the EP on the ECI

Coffee break

Water as a Human Right - The first successful ECI campaign

Film presentation and debate on the campaign
Organised by MEPs Heide Rühle, Raul Romeva i Rueda and Nikos Chrysogelos

Fishbowl debate
on the working groups’ recommendations
with MEP Sandrine Bélier

The future of participatory democracy in the EU
Concluding remarks and debate with MEP Gerald Häfner


embed player: click here

eci part 01 - original - [mp4 592 MB]
eci part 01 - english - [mp4 707 MB]
water - original - [mp4 574 MB]
water - english - [mp4 686 MB]
eci part 02 - original - [mp4 694 MB]
eci part 02 - english - [mp4 825 MB]