European Citizens’ Initiative, a legal profile under European Union Law that is unique

16/02/18
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Dr Carlos Espaliú, vice-dean of the Faculty of Law and director of the Charlemagne Institute for European Studies, on 8 February presented the profile of the European Citizens’ Initiative as part of the series of lectures entitled “Our Legal Institutions”, organised by the Catalan Society of Legal Studies.

European Citizens’ Initiative, a legal profile under European Union Law that is unique

The Lisbon Treaty added the profile of the European Citizens’ Initiative to European Union Law.  The aim was to improve the democratic functioning of the EU.  Within the context of International Law, this new profile is unique in legislation covering international organisations.  There is still no similar institution in any other international organisation in the world. 

“This step seems to potentially indicate a significant boost to the growing international subjectivity of the individual, when associating European citizens with the formation of important European Union resolutions, citizens taking the initiative in the creation - at least indirectly - of European Union Law” said Dr Espaliu. 

However, since this new profile has been added to EU Law, in practice results have not been good and the European Commission has received a lot of criticism for this reason. However, the Commission has recently presented a project to reform the regulations that regulate this new profile and has announced it will present a legislative proposal to further develop the second initiative, and this project has prospered. 

The talk entitled “The European initiative: dreams and realities” is part of a series of talks on  “Our Legal Institutions”, organised by the Catalan Society of Legal Studies, an affiliate of the Institute of Catalan Studies. The series of talks has also received support from the Barcelona Bar Association – the Committee of Female Lawyers and Civil Law Section - Barcelona Provincial Council, the Centre for Legal Studies and Special Training, the Department of Justice, the Institute for Political and Social Sciences, the Barcelona Academy of Literature, ​​faculties of Law in the following Barcelona universities, Universitat ​​Autònoma de Barcelona, ​​Pompeu Fabra University, and the Rovira i Virgili University, University of Girona, University of Lleida, UIC Barcelona, ​​the CEU and the Law and Political Science study programme at the UOC. This series has been organised and coordinated by Dr Josep Serrano, a lecturer at UIC Barcelona.