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Brussels, 17 February 2014
Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič receives organisers of the first successful European Citizens' Initiative
This morning Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič received representatives of the organising committee of the first successful European Citizens' Initiative, Right2Water, for a formal meeting with all Commission services concerned by the initiative. The meeting, a legal right for the organisers under the ECI legislation, provides them with an opportunity to explain their ideas and demands in more depth.
After a symbolic handover of the 1.68 million signatures by the organisers, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič stated:
"Today is a good day for grassroots democracy. I am extremely happy to meet the organisers of this European Citizens' Initiative. Their presence here proves the success of our joint efforts to make this ambitious new instrument of participatory democracy work. It is also positive news more generally, especially in an electoral year, as it shows how it is possible to mobilise and motivate citizens, even across borders.
"This initiative will receive very close attention today: this morning during the meeting here in the Commission and this afternoon in the public hearing in the European Parliament. I and my colleagues will be in listening mode, to get a deeper understanding of what exactly the organisers want. Then we will look at possible ways forward. Thank you."
After listening to the views and arguments of the organisers, the Commission has until 20 March to decide on what follow-up it intends to give to this first European Citizens' Initiative.