The stated objectives of the proposed Citizens' Initiative include "to prompt governments to embrace the hunger problem" and to "emphasize the responsibility of governments to eradicate the problem." The organisers of the Initiative have set out a detailed list of actions where they call on the Commission to make legislative proposals. These range from the creation of a food stamp programme to a reform of agricultural derivatives markets, and a new classification system for food waste with associated targets and processing rules.
The Commission's decision to register the Initiative concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage.
The registration of this Initiative will take place on 19 July 2018, starting a one-year process of collection of signatures of support by its organisers. Should the initiative 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, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.
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.
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.
For more information
Annex – Main proposals of the 'Stop Starvation Initiative
The organisers of the initiative have set out the detailed requests for actions they are seeking from the Commission in their proposal, which can be accessed online here. The requests are organised under five headings:
- Eradicate the culture of waste to generate 44 million tons of food within two years.
- Implement a Financial Transaction Tax to generate €30 billion per year.
- Hunger should be solved by public authorities, not by charities.
- Proposal relating to food speculation.
- A qualitative proposal