The proposed Citizens' Initiative calls for the application of enhanced controls and stricter sanctions in Member States which are not part of the European Public Prosecutor's Office to protect the Union's financial interests.
The College Decision notes that statements of support should be collected on the understanding that they would be supporting proposals which do not differentiate between Member States solely according to their participation or non-participation in the European Public Prosecutor's Office. This is because under the Treaties legal acts may not differentiate between Member States solely based on whether they participate in an enhanced cooperation. They can however do so when objectively justified, for example if there are different levels of protection of the financial interests of the Union.
The Commission's decision to register the Initiative only concerns 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 27 September 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
Full text of the proposed 'Stop fraud and abuse of EU funds' European Citizens Initiative (active from 27 September)