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
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.
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.
Ch. 3: Hear the voices behind the European green wave
In the third chapter of CitizenCentral we hear from Nils Kluger, Almog Sade and Martina Helmlinger - covering environmental topics on land and in the sea. The Stop Finning - Stop the Trade citizens’ initiative aims to end the trade with shark fins within the EU. The Green Garden Roof Tops initiative – launched by two siblings and a group of friends – wants to use existing empty space on corporations’ rooftops to convert into green areas. We also hear from a Grow scientific progress: crops matter initiative organiser. The initiative closed in the summer of 2021, yet her reflections offer many tips for people wanting to work on an ECI.
Ch. 2: Power to the people - hear the voices who want to break down the borders in Europe
In the second chapter of CitizenCentral we hear from Adam Mazoyer and Rosalie van den Brink as they discuss two European citizens’ initiatives focused on strengthening civic engagement in our communities. The Civil Servant Exchange Program (CSEP) aims to help civil servants learn from one another and better address transnational issues - from natural disasters to cybersecurity and beyond. The Voters Without Borders initiative makes a case for increasing the democratic rights of EU citizens who want to vote in national elections where they live.
Ch. 1: Welcome to CitizenCentral
Tune in to the first chapter of CitizenCentral to listen to Paula Reyes and Helmut Burtscher as they discuss two European citizens’ initiatives with signature collection periods ending in late-September 2021. ‘Actions on Climate Emergency’ (closing 23 September 2021) and ‘Save bees and Farmers! Towards a bee-friendly agriculture for a healthy environment’ (closing 30 September 2021) are two of the many citizens’ initiatives related to climate change over the years.