European Citizens’ InitiativeAccording to a provision of the Lisbon treaty, European citizens can actively participate in the legislative process of the European Union. European citizens can now give their suggestions and announce their requirements through the European Citizens’ Initiative. The European Commission is obligated to promote and investigate issues that are requested by European citizens. The procedure to submit a European Citizens’ Initiative is by gathering those 1,000.000 Europeans by collecting supporting signatures.

Even if the Lisbon treaty has been ratified, in practice there are still many questions considering the implementation of this democratic Citizens’ Initiative. In particular, it mentions one million European citizens but it does not clarify whether the origin or place of residence of those citizens matters. Also according to the treaty, the signatures should come from a “significant number” of Member States, but again it does not clarify the meaning of “significant”, and as a result it involves subjective criteria.

In an effort to give answers to the above queries, the European Commission asked for the opinion of organized parties of the Member States, in order to make Citizens’ Initiative achievable. The Cyprus Green Party which supports provision of power to citizens, has recorded its suggestions and submitted them to the European Commission.

The corresponding public hearing, which took place on 22nd of February 2010 has not resulted in a mutual decision. Hence, until the termination of negotiations, European citizens can submit their initiatives before the European Commission, without an available demarcating framework. It should be mentioned that Cyprus Green Party was the only Non – Governmental Organization from Cyprus that submitted its proposals regarding Citizens’ Initiative to the European Commission, and it also participated in the dialogue.

Meanwhile, Cyprus Green Party participates in Citizens’ Initiative that is regulated by the European Green Party, for the cancellation of the European Commission’s decision upon allowing the cultivation of genetically modified varieties of potatoes. Our future is in our hands and now it is our responsibility to protect it. We should not allow the destruction of organic products (if cultivation of GMO is allowed then this will happen) and we should protect our health and the health of our children. Through the website of Cyprus Green Party a relevant signing petition is currently circulated ( As soon as signatures reach one million, they will be submitted to the President of European Commission Mr. Barroso.

Αlexia Sakadaki

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