A European Citizen’s Initiative is a form of petition, not to the European Parliament, but to the European Commission, which proposes EU legislation. Unlike the petition to the UK Parliament, whereby 4 million signatures got a tetchy debate in a side room, 1 million signatures across the EU can secure a treaty change or new legislation.
The European Commission press release went up in December 2016 HERE
On 11th January 2017, a European Citizen’s Initiative went live on europa.eu for a European Free Movement Instrument (legalese for legal document) which would guarantee permanent Freedom of Movement to Europeans “of good standing”.
The proposed instrument is a laissez-faire passport, as issued by the EU (if required) for staff already.
The UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) are examples of other organisations which do this.
Under Article (4) of Council Regulation 1417/2013 the European Union already has the power to extend laissez-passer documents to individuals other than staff. The European Free Movement Initiative also states ” or another method”
In order to sign up to the initiative, you MUST be of voting age in your EU member state. Some countries require a passport or ID.
UK requirements are to be British and a UK resident. If you are a non-British EU citizen resident in the UK, the requirement is that you follow the instructions from the country of which you are a national.
There are notes at the beginning of the PDF which covers people living in other EU countries or with multiple nationalities. Some EU countries will allow their citizens living outside the EU, to sign up to ECIs but Britain doesn’t.
British and Irish citizens officially resident in Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia (Czech Republic), France and Portugal may NOT sign the initiative.
If you are a UK national living in the EU. but aren’t living in one of the five countries above, then it doesn’t matter whether you have lived in the EU for five years or nineteen, you can sign.
If you aren’t 18 yet, don’t worry, the initiative doesn’t close until 11 January 2018
The websites being used to collect signatures are CERTEKA CHOOSEFREEDOM and Europa.eu now open !!! Please vote on ONE site only. All signatures will be verified. Signing more than once gives a false total and it would terrible to get the ECI disregarded because of thousands of ineligible signatures.
If any of your MEPs are pro-Remain could you please ask them to support
ECI (2017) 000001 European Free Movement Instrument HERE
Link to minimum number of signatures per country HERE UK needs 54,750 minimum but another 6 countries need to contribute to get the 1 million needed.
Why it matters
Firstly, the European Commission already has the powers to extend laissez-passer passports. It doesn’t need to consult the British government in negotiations about this. Theresa May has no say in this, it’s an internal petition to the European Commission.
It’s an ECI applicable to all EU citizens. Having an actual document which proves that you are entitled to XYZ would stop EU member states denying EU citizens rights which they have under treaties. So it’s more likely to get support than something just for Brits.
It isn’t a replacement for an EU member state passport so countries which flog theirs for 2m euros can still do that. However, if the laissez-passer passport was issued by EU offices it would hopefully avoid that situation.
A European Citizen Initiative is an official way of asking the EU legislators to act and the more signatures we get from across the EU the better.
BIG thank you to Glyn Hughes and his committee !!!
ChooseFreedom SHOP to help support the ECI