ETUC is sceptical about the viability of the new citizens'initiative

Brussels, 22/12/2010

It is not understandable that young people will be entitled to sign a European petition from the age of 18 only, instead as from 16 as demanded by the ETUC. The European institutions should also be able to differentiate between the practicalities of organising a petition and a European election. Under the new rules, in 18 Member States, an ID card number is being made obligatory before one can sign; and in all Member States people will be asked to deliver too many details (date and place of birth, nationality). This is far from the reality of collecting signatures in public places. The European Parliament improved the text and added a proper follow-up including a public hearing.

John Monks, General Secretary of the ETUC, said: “We are disappointed and see the risk that a good idea is spoilt by over-bureaucratic procedures. I very much doubt that in the next years there would be a single new piece of European legislation drafted thanks to this instrument. The procedure should be revised to make it really user friendly and bring it closer to the citizens.