27 July 2016

Commission registers 'Let'sFly2Europe' and 'People4Soil' European Citizens' Initiatives


The European Commission has today taken the decision to register the 'LetsFly2Europe' and 'People4Soil' European Citizens' Initiatives.

The 'LetsFly2Europe' European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) invites the Commission to propose "an abolition of provisions under Directive 2001/51/EC which penalise transport companies allowing refugees to enter the EU via airplane". The 'People4Soil' European Citizens' Initiative invites the Commission to "recognise soil as a shared heritage that needs EU level protection and develop a dedicated legally binding framework covering the main soil threats."

The registration of this 'LetsFly2Europe' initiative will take place on 2 September and the registration of the 'People4Soil' initiative will take place on 12 September. In both cases, this will start a one-year process of collection of signatures in support of the proposed European Citizens' Initiative by its organisers.

The Commission's decision to register the Initiatives concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The conditions for admissibility, as foreseen by the European Citizens' Initiative Regulation, are that the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission's powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, that it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and that it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.

The Commission concluded today that the legal conditions for the registration of the two European Citizens' Initiatives were fulfilled. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the initiatives at this stage.

Should either of the European Citizens' Initiatives receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months. The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not follow the request and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.

Background

European Citizens' Initiatives were introduced with the Lisbon Treaty and launched as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens in April 2012, upon the entry into force of the European Citizens' Initiative Regulation which implements the Treaty provisions.

Once formally registered, a European Citizens' Initiative allows one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose a legal act in areas where the Commission has the power to do so.