The ECI concept is, as they say,
is aimed at bringing EU institutions closer to the people and addressing what critics describe as the EU's "democratic deficit".Of course whilst the idea that one just has to get 1,000,000 signatures together to get them to change their laws sounds great that isn't actually what is on offer of course. These are the hoops you must jump through.
The heart sinks with that dread phrase "citizen's committee". For the love of God, it sounds like something created by Robespierre or Brother No 1. But the real problem are whether the initiative is "frivolous or vexatious" or whether it is "manifestly contrary to the values of the European Union".
- the citizens' committee has been formed and the contact persons designated,
- the initiative does not manifestly fall outside the sphere of the Commission's powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties,
- the initiative is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious, and
- the initiative is not manifestly contrary to the values of the European Union as set out in the Treaty.
The decisions as to what is or what isn't frivolous, or indeed what is or isn't contrary to European values is made of course by the European Commission.
So they decide what is acceptable. What I foresee and foretell is that these initiatives will essentially be like the NGO's already funded by the EU. They will accept only those things that they already want to happen. No citizen's initiative will be allowed to pass that isn't already the dearest wish of a massive proportion of the European Elite.
Instead of Democracy we will have its simulacrum, guided democracy, cheerlead by organisations , so favoured of the elite, Greenpeace, Carbon Credit organisations and the like.
What about a petition of over a million calling for a legal upper limit personal carbon emissions? You could easily get your million signatures from totalitarian idiots from around the 27 countries of Europe. The Commission would rubber stamp the concept and sure enough along will come the legislation.
How about a petition to allow al migrants immediate access to welfare state provisions? Or one that would force companies to pay equal pay rates to men and women based on age, and length of service in the company? Please bring them on.
Now how about a million signatures for the introduction of the death penalty for child killers? You could easily get the required number of vengeful furies to sign up across the 27 countries. But of course it would be disallowed.
These Initiatives are at the whim not of the people, but of the European Elite. They will offer the wrapping of democracy, but it will be nothing of the sort.
Can you imagine if we put together a million signatures from across the 27 calling for a vote on whether Ireland should be bailed out, or whether the UK should be thrown out?