ECAS Knowledge Centre
Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)
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This study has been conducted by ECAS within the framework of the ECI Support Centre with the kind assistance of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. The study aims to promote a better understanding of the ECI Regulation, particularly on the registration procedures for a proposed initiative, and it suggests a number of recommendations to be discussed when the review of the Regulation takes place based on an analysis of the "subject matters" of the ECIs that have been refused registration by the Commission.
This study was undertaken to estimate some aspects of the net fiscal impact of EU migrants in four EU countries Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The report outlines the role of Fiscal Impact of EU Migrants in Selected Countries migrants from EU countries as participants in the labour market, as taxpayers and as benefit recipients also. The fiscal contribution of EU foreigners has increased substantially in the past several years. Compared to 2009, inn 2013 EU migrants paid 31% more in direct taxes as their wages increased and more EU workers found employment opportunities in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. As migration accelerated, EU foreigners also paid 44% more on indirect taxes, as they spent more onconsumer purchases. EU foreigners in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK received 35% more benefits than they did in 2009, due to the overall expansion of the welfare state in addition to the inflow of EU migrants.
The two-week cycle of Commission nominee hearings closed on the 7th October with the hearing of Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans. If confirmed, First Vice-President-designate Frans Timmermans will be in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, meaning that he will have authority over the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) process. He will thus have responsibility over the management of the first transnational instrument of participatory democracy worldwide. This instrument is particularly relevant to political discussion at this time, as the European Commission is due to release a report on the implementation of the ECI in April, May 2015, three years after the entry into force of the Reg. 211/2011.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) infographic gives an overview of the different ECIs presented, their field of interest and the country of origin.
The European Citizen Action Service calls for 10 points of reform of the Reg. 211/2011
Existing forums for citizen participation in the EU have proven ineffective in bridging the democratic deficit.The crises the EU is currently facing call for more innovative forms of citizen engagement in order to re-gain their trust in the European project. ECAS believes there is a political 'window of opportunity' for the EU to reconnect with its citizens by taking advantage of rapid technological developments and proposing alternative forms of engagement.
EU Citizenship and the rights that come with it are one of the cornerstones of the European project, if not the main achievement. European citizenship, enshrined in the EU Treaties, has formed part of the EU aquis since 1992 when the Maastricht Treaty was adopted, making it an objective for the Union 'to strengthen the protection of the rights and interests of the nationals of its Member States through the introduction of a citizenship of the Union'. The ultimate aim of EU Citizenship was to increase the citizens' sense of identification and belonging to the European Union, and thereby to create a European identity by outlining a number of rights which citizens could enjoy in the same way as national citizenships do.
ECAS welcomes the European Ombudsman proposals to strengthen the role that the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) plays in the democratic political at the European level. ECAS is pleased to see that specific recommendations have been put forward regarding the need to provide better reasoning and clarity in the "legal admissibility check" and to provide Europe Direct with more guidance to support citizens wishing to propose an ECI.
ECIsc is proud to have Madi Sharma's support in developing our ECI mobile application for iPhone users.
ECAS interviews Madi Sharma-Founder of ECI Act4Growth, European Economic and Social Committee(EESC) Member, and ECI Ad Hoc Group Member.
Assya Kavrakova (ECAS Director) and Elisa Bruno (EU Policies and Outreach Manager) present the ECI Support Centre.
The ECI Support Centre is a joint initiative of the European Citizen Action Service, Democracy International and the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe. The ECI Support Centre is a not-forprofit service, whose purpose is to provide advice and help to ECI organisers before and during the process of launching and implementing an ECI. This service aims at complementing the support which is available through other institutional channels (e.g. the European Commission contact point, the Economic and Social Committee's intermediary role etc.). The ECI Support Centre provides up-to-date information, policy-analysis on the development of the ECI, and tailor-made advice to citizens on legal basis, campaigning and fundraising. In this respect, the ECI Support Centre and its partners have gathered substantial knowledge on the issue1 over the last 2 years that will be summarized and presented here. Therefore, we welcome the decision of the European Ombudsman to investigate this instrument further and to allow civil society and stakeholders as well as ECI organisers to participate in the inquiry. This report will give an overview of the state of play and will discuss the ECI, before further elaborating on specific aspects of the different steps in the process.
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