The ECAS Knowledge Centre is an online collection of resources on two broad themes: EU Rights and Civic Engagement in Europe. It aims to help civil society campaigners, researchers, analysts, academics, advisors, policy makers and interested citizens navigate the large amount of information available in a user-friendly manner. It offers easy access to research, case studies, evaluations, papers, issue briefs, toolkits and more on the following topics:

Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)

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Evaluation of EU Rules on Free Movement of EU citizens and Their Family Members and Their Practical Implementation

October 20, 2013

Practices across the Union vary considerably. The time, money and efforts needed to prepare applications is highly variable, and there are frequent administrative burdens. Availability of information also varies. While some nations (generally Western European nations) provide clear, accessible and user-friendly information online; others (notably Germany and Italy) provide patchy and uneven information. Information hotlines leave much to be desired across the Union. Recommendations include creating single contact points within relevant administrations and providing training to national authorities on free movement rights.

EU Rights: Freedom of Movement in the EU

Decision of the European Ombudsman closing her own-initiative inquiry OI/9/2013/TN concerning the European Commission

March 4, 2015

Available since April 2012, the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) allows a group of at least one million EU citizens to call on the European Commission to propose new EU legislation. After receiving a number of complaints, the Ombudsman decided to investigate the proper functioning of the ECI procedure and the Commission's role and responsibility in this regard. The Ombudsman invited organisers of ECIs, civil society organisations, and other interested persons to provide input on how well the ECI is working. On the basis of these responses, the Ombudsman made a range of suggestions to the Commission to increase the effectiveness of the ECI process. Having received the Commission's response, the Ombudsman now concludes her inquiry with eleven guidelines for further improvement. While noting that the Commission has done a lot to give effect to the ECI right in a citizen-friendly way, the Ombudsman believes that more can be done. As some of these suggestions are relevant to the European Parliament, the Ombudsman will also write to the President of Parliament. In this way, she trusts that her suggestions, made both during the inquiry and in this decision, will prove useful as these institutions, together with the Council of the EU, set about reviewing the ECI Regulation later this year.

Civic Engagement: European Citizens' Initiatives

Evaluation of the Impact of the Free Movement of European Citizens at the Local Level

January 1, 2014

Focusing on six European cities between 2004 and 2011 (Barcelona, Hamburg, Dublin, Turin, Lille, Prague), the report claims that labour migration had been profitable to the host communities. Migrants mainly move for labour opportunities, not social benefits. E.g. Migrants in Turin have bought €1.5bn to public finances. Migrants fill in local labour gaps rather than displace native workers. Social and cultural impacts also appear to be negligible.

EU Rights: Freedom of Movement in the EU

Opinion on the 'Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Citizens' Initiative'

July 14, 2010

Opinion on the "Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Citizens' Initiative".

Civic Engagement: European Citizens' Initiatives

Opinion on the Implementation of the Lisbon Treaty: Participatory Democracy and the Citizens' Initiative (Article 11)

March 17, 2010

Opinion on the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty: participatory democracy and the citizens' initiative (Article 11).

Civic Engagement: European Citizens' Initiatives

European Citizens' Initiative: Legal Options for Implementation Below the Constitutional Level

December 1, 2006

The EU has long been criticized for its democratic deficit. Several proposals for overcoming or reducing this deficit have been made. Some of them mention the role of more citizen participation and direct democracy. It was in this spirit that the ECI found its way into the Constitutional Treaty, creating the first tool of transnational participatory/direct democracy. It is aimed to give the Uniom's citizens more influence on EU politics while maintaining the institutional balance - especially the initiative monopoly of the European Commission - of the Union.

Civic Engagement: European Citizens' Initiatives

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