13 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

    3.2: What impact do European Citizens’ Initiatives have? Examples from successful initiatives

    3.2: What impact do European Citizens’ Initiatives have? Examples from successful initiatives

    EU citizens often ask for examples of the impact of European citizens’ initiatives, so in this episode we take a closer look at three initiatives that reached more than 1 million signatures and received a reply from the Commission. We hear from an organiser of each of the three initiatives, ‘Ban glyphosate’ [Ban glyphosate and protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides], ‘End the Cage Age’, and ‘Right2Water’ [Water and sanitation are a human right! Water is a public good, not a commodity!].

    On each initiative, we speak with European Commission officials who give more details on the actions taken in response to the successful initiatives.

    In 2023, the Commission replies to 4 more successful citizens’ initiatives [April, July and December].

    • 29 min
    3.1: The ABCs of ‘EU Democracy in Action’ - presenting a European Citizens’ Initiative Toolkit

    3.1: The ABCs of ‘EU Democracy in Action’ - presenting a European Citizens’ Initiative Toolkit

    In this episode we speak about on-going efforts to make the ECI common European knowledge – starting with high school students. The ‘EU Democracy in Action – Have Your Say with the European Citizens’ Initiative’ Toolkit was developed by the European Commission and piloted in secondary schools in early 2023.

    Interviews come from many different angles: we hear from MEP Loránt Vincze, who was an organiser of a ECI campaign “back in the day” and who is an avid supporter of citizenship education, and Małgorzata Malczyk, an English teacher who piloted the toolkit in a school in Poland. In addition, Silvia Kersemakers, the team leader of the ECI team in Brussels gives insights into why the toolkit was developed and we hear the voices of several young people – showing there’s scope for increasing awareness about the European Citizens’ Initiative.

    • 27 min
    2.4: For animals, people & planet! Hear from people proposing new solutions to old practices

    2.4: For animals, people & planet! Hear from people proposing new solutions to old practices

    In this episode of CitizenCentral, animal products are up for discussion with two European citizens’ initiative organisers. They believe modern technologies offer solutions to what they consider old and unsustainable practices, and that have benefits for animals, people and planet.

    Filippo Borsellino, organiser of ‘End the Slaughter Age’ initiative, focuses on transferring EU subsidies from livestock farming to cell- and plant-based alternatives.
    Elise Fleury is the representative of ‘Fur Free Europe’ initiative, which aims to ban fur farms and farmed fur products from the European market.

    • 28 min
    2.3: Fair Pay and Fair Play: Meet Europeans campaigning for transparency

    2.3: Fair Pay and Fair Play: Meet Europeans campaigning for transparency

    Join us in a conversation with three current European citizens’ initiative organisers from the Netherlands, France and Denmark. We hear from the ‘Good Clothes, Fair Pay’ initiative, the ‘Win it on the Pitch’ initiative, and the ‘Stop 5G – Stay Connected but Protected’ initiative. Curious to learn more about living wages from workers in the garment and footwear sector, an attempt to prevent another ‘super-league-style' breakaway in European football, or alleged issues of wireless connectivity? This episode is for you!

    Disclaimer: The Commission does not in any way confirm the factual correctness of the content of the ‘Stop 5G’ initiative, which is the sole responsibility of the group of organisers. In fact, a number of the claims made in this initiative run contrary to the body of scientific evidence available to the Commission, and to the assessments made by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the body mandated by the World Health Organisation to assess the risks for health.

    • 23 min
    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

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Fallen Angels: A Story of California Corruption
iHeartPodcasts
This American Life
This American Life
Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts
The Viall Files
Nick Viall
Shawn Ryan Show
Shawn Ryan | Cumulus Podcast Network
Unlocking Us with Brené Brown
Vox Media Podcast Network