Fancy changing the law?
It starts with an idea…
If your idea is in a policy area where the Commission has powers to propose laws, you can submit a citizens' initiative for it.
There are obviously some formal conditions you need to meet to do this – in particular, you can't go it alone: your initiative needs to be submitted jointly through a “citizens' committee” .
And you need to get 1 million signatures in a number of different EU countries. But get that far and you may be in business!
What happens next?
With your million signatures you have a guarantee that:
- the Commission will seriously examine your initiative – you can even meet Commission officials in person to explain your idea in detail
- you can present your initiative at a public hearing in the European Parliament
The Commission is legally bound to make a formal response, spelling out either what action it will propose, and why – or why it cannot act.
If the Commission decides to act, this will be in the form of a formal proposal for a new law. However, to be enacted, the law must be approved by (usually) both the European Parliament and EU governments, acting jointly through the EU Council .