Joint conference organised by the European Economic and Social Committee and
the Committee of the Regions
Brussels, 30 March 2012, 9.30-13.00
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is one of the major
innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon and will increase participatory democracy in
the EU. The initiative enables one million EU citizens to call directly on the
European Commission to propose a legal act in an area within the competences of
The ECI will enter into force on 1 April 2012, which offers a unique
opportunity for the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and
Social Committee to discuss the concept of participatory democracy with civil
society and public authorities at the local and regional level. It also raises a
number of issues about the role for both committees and its members, in
stimulating, monitoring and reacting on citizens' initiatives, and on its
position between civil society and the European policy makers.
The conference will explore further the democratic potential of the ECI in
Europe, as well as some recent best practices in the field of participatory
democracy and citizen's participation. An interactive panel debate will engage
European, national and regional policy makers and will discuss the role of the
two Committees in the ECI.
During the conference feedback and questions will be collected on Twitter,
and used to stir debates (please use #eci to share your messages or to follow
the feed). The conference will be webstreamed, allowing stakeholders outside
Brussels to follow the event.