9 episodes

What is the European Citizens’ Initiative? And what causes do European citizens care deeply about, driving them to pitch their own policy ideas to the European Commission?

CitizenCentral, a podcast series presented by the European Commission, puts a spotlight on European citizens’ initiatives. Organisers tell us why their initiative is important for European society and how they experience raising awareness at EU level. We also interview different topic experts and academics to further explore the issues put forward by these initiatives. Discover what the European Citizens’ Initiative is and how this tool makes it possible to have a greater say in policies that affect your life in the European Union. #EUTakeTheInitiative

Support the ECIs featured: https://europa.eu/!qWCMKV
Discover the European Citizens' Initiative: https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/_en
Episode show notes: https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/citizencentral-podcast_en
Get support from the ECI Forum: http://europa.eu/citizens-initiative-forum/_en

Keywords: EU, democracy, citizen rights, public policies, citizen engagement, democratic participation

The opinions expressed in the podcasts reflect solely the point of view of the speakers and can in no way be taken to reflect the position of the European Commission or of the European Union.
© European Commission, 2021

CitizenCentral CitizenCentral

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

What is the European Citizens’ Initiative? And what causes do European citizens care deeply about, driving them to pitch their own policy ideas to the European Commission?

CitizenCentral, a podcast series presented by the European Commission, puts a spotlight on European citizens’ initiatives. Organisers tell us why their initiative is important for European society and how they experience raising awareness at EU level. We also interview different topic experts and academics to further explore the issues put forward by these initiatives. Discover what the European Citizens’ Initiative is and how this tool makes it possible to have a greater say in policies that affect your life in the European Union. #EUTakeTheInitiative

Support the ECIs featured: https://europa.eu/!qWCMKV
Discover the European Citizens' Initiative: https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/_en
Episode show notes: https://europa.eu/citizens-initiative/citizencentral-podcast_en
Get support from the ECI Forum: http://europa.eu/citizens-initiative-forum/_en

Keywords: EU, democracy, citizen rights, public policies, citizen engagement, democratic participation

The opinions expressed in the podcasts reflect solely the point of view of the speakers and can in no way be taken to reflect the position of the European Commission or of the European Union.
© European Commission, 2021

    2.2: Citizen lobbyists and future leaders: Hear the voices of young Europeans

    2.2: Citizen lobbyists and future leaders: Hear the voices of young Europeans

    In this chapter, we hear from a group of Europeans 26-and-under from 9 different EU countries as they share ideas on voting, EU policymaking, citizen activism and the European Citizens’ Initiative. They also tell us what ideas they would like to see turned into citizens’ initiatives.

    We also hear from Daniela Vancic from Democracy International, and Paco Camas of public opinion research company Ipsos. Daniela argues that the ECI and other participatory tools help young people engage with the issues they care about, and Paco gives us facts and figures on young people’s participation in the EU today.

    Finally, we hear from two organisers of the citizens’ initiative “Ending the aviation fuel tax exemption in Europe” (also called ‘Fairosene’). These two young citizen lobbyists reflect upon their campaign and why it ended on a high note.

    • 23 min
    2.1: Recycling and VAT rates: Meet Europeans in search of sustainable solutions

    2.1: Recycling and VAT rates: Meet Europeans in search of sustainable solutions

    CitizenCentral returns for a second season!

    Featuring ‘ReturnthePlastics’ and ‘GreenVAT’ ECIs --
    Join us as we talk with two citizen initiatives’ organisers taking different approaches to sustainability and consumer behaviour, as well as three climate and sustainability experts across the EU.

    Omar Pérez of the ‘ReturnThePlastics’ initiative explains how this group of organisers aim to replicate recycling systems that already exist in several EU countries. As the results of existing systems start to show, their idea is to install an EU-wide deposit scheme to recycle plastic bottles, using reverse vending machines in supermarkets. A big question remains – who should pay for this system?

    Brigitta Hartmann represents the ‘Green VAT’ initiative, which calls for tax reductions on organic, sustainably produced or environmentally friendly products in Europe. The goal is to both give consumers more choice and encourage companies to rethink how products are produced. But, one might ask, would there still be a tax base if all the products become green?

    • 23 min
    Ch. 6: Vaccines and copyright – meet the Europeans fighting for changes in EU policies

    Ch. 6: Vaccines and copyright – meet the Europeans fighting for changes in EU policies

    This chapter of CitizenCentral shines a light on copyright and intellectual property (IP) rights. Gregory Engels, representing the Freedom to Share initiative, aims to influence European copyright law and legalise file sharing via digital networks. Julie Steendam, on the other hand, represents the ‘Right to Cure’ (also called ‘No profit on pandemic’) initiative which calls on the European Commission to make sure all vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus are available to everyone world-wide and at no cost. Both break down complicated topics related to the impact of copyright and intellectual property laws, our freedom and the cost we pay.

    • 35 min
    European Citizens’ Initiative @10: new initiatives and fond memories

    European Citizens’ Initiative @10: new initiatives and fond memories

    Featuring ‘Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics’, ‘Stop Global Warming – a price for carbon to fight climate change’ and ‘Fraternité 2020 - Mobility. Progress. Europe.’ ECIs

    In 2022 we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the ECI, and in this chapter we meet organisers from the past, present and (potentially) future - Simona Pronckutė, Dr Julia Baines and Virginia Fiume.

    Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics is a current initiative aiming to fully ban cosmetics ingredient tests on animals and modernise animal-free science. And they want to become the fastest ECI to reach 1 million signatures! After two years of campaigning and the signature collection period closing in the summer of 2021, Virginia Fiume shares insightful reflections from the Stop Global Warming initiative. She and her colleagues have channelled their experience with the ECI into the EUMANS.eu project and promise to be back!

    Finally, we hear from an organiser of the first-ever registered ECI ‘Fraternité 2020 - Mobility. Progress. Europe.’ What was Simona’s experience like 10 years ago – and how has taking part in an ECI influenced her life?

    • 23 min
    Ch. 5: Conscious consumers – meet Europeans fighting climate change in creative ways

    Ch. 5: Conscious consumers – meet Europeans fighting climate change in creative ways

    In the fifth chapter of CitizenCentral we hear from Silvia Pastorelli and Antoine Thill – two organisers striving to help hold companies responsible and help consumers make sustainable choices – each in different ways. The Ban Fossil Fuel Ads initiative aims for an EU legislative act prohibiting advertisements for fossil fuels, including for road and water-borne transportation that is powered by fossil fuels. It takes inspiration from the ban on tobacco advertisement already in place across the EU and looks to make systemic change for the climate crisis. Meanwhile, organisers of the European EcoScore initiative want a compulsory label providing European consumers with transparent information about the environmental impact of products manufactured or sold in the EU.

    Both initiatives were registered and started signature collection in mid-2021 - listen to how it is going for them so far.

    • 27 min
    Ch. 4: Meet the Europeans trying to reclaim our faces and alleviate poverty across the continent

    Ch. 4: Meet the Europeans trying to reclaim our faces and alleviate poverty across the continent

    In the fourth chapter of CitizenCentral we hear from Ella Jakubowska and Catarina Neves - discussing different ways to protect fundamental rights and reduce inequality across the EU. Reclaim Your Face - the Civil society initiative for a ban on biometric mass surveillance practices is trying to strictly regulate the use of biometric technologies in order to avoid undue interference with fundamental rights. The nuances in how people, companies and governments are using technology – and for what purposes and how this impacts our lives – get covered in this episode. The organisers of Start Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) throughout the EU want the European Commission to make a proposal for universal basic income throughout the EU, to improve the welfare for European citizens in all Member States.

    • 27 min

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