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Brussels, 11 November 2009

European Commission launches public consultation on the Citizens' Initiative

The European Commission is launching a wide public consultation to help to define the practical details of the Citizens' Initiative foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty. The Citizens' Initiative will enable one million citizens to request the Commission to bring forward a particular policy proposal.

"The participation of the citizens in decision-making is indispensable for democracy", said Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Inter-institutional Relations and Communication Strategy. "The Lisbon Treaty will provide a means for people to express themselves and to have a direct influence on EU policy-making."

Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, the Citizens' Initiative enables one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States to directly request that the Commission brings forward an initiative of interest to them in an area of EU competence.

The Green Paper published today identifies practical questions regarding how the Initiative can best work in practice. Questions such as the number of countries from which people must come, how to check that signatures are real, what form a petition should take, time limits etc.

All input is welcome and can be given by responding to the Green Paper which is available in all 23 official languages on the website:

The deadline for reply is the end of January 2010. After this date, the European Commission will put forward a proposal for a regulation to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

For further information:

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