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Title: The European Citizens'Initiative : a laboratory for citizens' participation in EU law-making
Author: Karatzia, Anastasia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 908X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), introduced as an instrument for citizens’ democratic participation in the EU, has been in existence for just over three years. It is a participatory mechanism by which a proposal supported by one million signatures may influence the Commission’s legislative initiatives. In addition to an express reference in Article 11(4) TEU, the ECI has a detailed legal framework by virtue of Regulation 211/2011. This thesis explores the ECI both as an opportunity for EU citizens to access the EU-law making process, and as part of the wider EU institutional and constitutional order. This is done via an in-depth legal analysis of the ECI’s regulatory framework vis-à-vis an examination of the empirical reality of the ECI’s operation. In this way, the findings of the thesis combine a doctrinal perspective on the legal issues arising from the ECI Regulation, with an empirical element based on primary data collected through interviews with ECI organisers, and detailed observations of the experiences with the first three years of the ECI. By focusing on specific aspects of the ECI that are connected with pertinent EU law debates, such as EU citizenship, the Commission’s competence to propose EU legislation, and the CJEU’s role in adjudicating elements of EU participatory democracy, the thesis lends a legal perspective to the academic understanding of the ECI and - more broadly - citizens’ participation in the EU. At the same time, it demonstrates what can be realistically expected from the ECI as a participatory mechanism. In this respect, it is argued that the ECI does not offer a strong potential to EU citizens to influence EU legislative output. Any future changes to the ECI’s regulatory framework should thus give EU citizens a stronger incentive to make the effort to organise and promote an ECI.
Supervisor: Konstadinides, Theodore Sponsor: University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available