Volume 54 (2017) / Issue 1
Anastasia Karatzia, 'The European Citizens Initiative and the EU institutional balance: On realism and the possibilities of affecting EU lawmaking' (2017) 54 Common Market Law Review, Issue 1, pp. 177–208
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has been promoted as a way to strengthen citizens’ participation in EU lawmaking. Taking stock of the ECI’s first few years of operation, this article aims to identify the influence of the ECI on EU lawmaking and its position in the EU institutional triangle (Commission – European Parliament – Council). In particular, the article examines whether the ECI has shifted the EU institutional status quo vis-à-vis the Commission’s power of legislative initiative. It focuses on the first few ECIs that have managed to collect the necessary number of signatures to be formally considered by the Commission, and evaluates the Commission’s discretion to respond to these ECIs. It argues that there is currently a mismatch between, on one hand, the expectations of EU citizens from the ECI and, on the other hand, the ECI’s capacity to lead to legislative output. The article addresses the challenges that arise from this mismatch.
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