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Commission: Petitions to abolish EU "silly", will be blocked


Al.

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Nothing like unelected politicians telling their citizens that nothing but the EU's agenda has any meaning, right? Nothing like democracy turned upside-down, with an unelected executive having sole legislative initiative. Also note that they'll start screening who is behind petitions that they don't approve of.

EurActiv
EU commissioner vows to block 'silly' petitions

Published: 06 May 2010

The European Commission will filter citizens' petitions to make sure that "silly" initiatives like abolishing the EU are blocked, Maroš Šefčovič, a vice-president of the EU executive, told EurActiv in an interview ahead of talks today (6 May) on improving the transparency of EU decision-making.

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, allows citizens to request new EU legislation once a million signatures across at least nine member states have been collected asking the Commission to do so.

"Citizens have an instrument to set the agenda of the European Union," said Šefčovič, responsible for inter-institutional relations and administration at the EU executive, expressing hope that grassroots organisations will use the ECI to help citizens "influence the work of the Commission" and request action on "concrete purposes".

The Slovak commissioner predicted that the ECI would be used "in a positive manner," but warned that "great care" would be required to ensure that it is not abused.

An "admissibility check" after 300,000 signatures have been collected should ensure that an initiative has genuine backing, Šefčovič said. Moreover, the Commission has introduced "safeguards" on registering new initiatives, including an obligation to provide details of who is behind the petition, how they are being funded and what they are hoping to achieve before a new initiative can be registered, he explained.

Asked whether the ECI could one day oblige the Commission to draft legislation on abolishing the EU or banning the Islamic burqa, Šefčovič said "it is quite clear that if it comes to silly initiatives, there will just be an administrative procedure and the initiative will not be registered".

"You can very easily have contradictions between freedom of expression and freedom of religion," he warned, explaining that "political decisions" on the admissibility of controversial cases would be referred to the college of commissioners. "Of course, these decisions will be challengeable in the European Court of Justice," Šefčovič said. ...
 
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TommyO'Brien

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Another dumb Al thread.
 

Al.

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Another dumb Al thread.
Translated: "Aw no, why does Al have to knock me out of me comfort zone by reminding me of reality?"

Sad to see that the citizens' initiative really isn't, isn't it? They come right out and tell you, at least, that they'll stop any petitions they don't like, at 300,000 signatures...after the Treaty of Lisbon's been in force for only half a year (and look, the treaty doesn't say they can't).
 
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kerdasi amaq

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I always suspected that the purpose of the "Citizens Iniative" was to provide public sanction for the EU's agenda. Anything that goes against that agenda will be ignored.
 

seenitallb4

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If inconvenient referenda results can be sidestepped, then dealing with a petition should be no hassle. A petition is nothing more than an appeal to someone in authority to do something.
 

Ramon21

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Another dumb Al thread.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Quite right too - petitions to abolish the EU would be stupid.
 

Passer-by

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Try reading the EU Treaties:

Article 11 (TEU)

4. Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.
In case that isn't clear enough:

1) It is the member states - not the European Commission - that decides the content of the EU Treaties.

2) The Commission is only authorised by the member states to propose measures for "the purpose of implementing the Treaties".

3) The Commission is NOT authorised by the member states to propose measures that are contrary to "the purpose of implementing the Treaties".

4) The Commission therefore has no legal authority to propose measures - even if it wants to - such as abolishing the EU.

5) None of the above is hard to understand if you take the trouble to read the Treaties...
 

Clanrickard

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Try reading the EU Treaties:



In case that isn't clear enough:

1) It is the member states - not the European Commission - that decides the content of the EU Treaties.

2) The Commission is only authorised by the member states to propose measures for "the purpose of implementing the Treaties".

3) The Commission is NOT authorised by the member states to propose measures that are contrary to "the purpose of implementing the Treaties".

4) The Commission therefore has no legal authority to propose measures - even if it wants to - such as abolishing the EU.

5) None of the above is hard to understand if you take the trouble to read the Treaties...
I am very glad you posted that as it proves that this "citizens initiative" is a sham. Only petitions that demand more Europe will be considered. Funny that.
 

Passer-by

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I am very glad you posted that as it proves that this "citizens initiative" is a sham. Only petitions that demand more Europe will be considered. Funny that.
Even if you want to demand "more Europe", the Commission cannot help you. It is the member states that decide whether there will be "more Europe" or not.

It is a case of "If the member states have decided to do X (a particular aim), then you can petition the Commission to propose measures in areas A, B or C (where these are (directly) related to X)". It is then up to the member states and the EP to decide whether to take these proposals up or not.

Offhand, I'd say there is more than enough scope within the existing EU Treaties to use the citizens initiative so I don't think it can be reasonably be described as a "sham" nor to conclude that it results in "more Europe".
 

CookieMonster

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sure we knew it was a sham.
 

SilverSpurs

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The CI is a farce to be honest. It in fact makes public lobbying of the commission very difficult by setting such a high threshold. Whereas under Nice there was no threshold for the commission to consider your idea.
If you want to influence the commisson hire one of the thousands of lobby firms...but wait you could have done that under Nice.
FutureTaoiseach cruelly referred to the CI as the equivalent of petitioning a medieval king he had a point.

In reality i expect the CI will be used for propoganda purposes by the Commission to justify controversial legislation on the grounds that its "the will of the people".
 

FutureTaoiseach

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Just goes to prove what we on the no side warned last year i.e. that the Citizens Initiative would not democratise the Union, because the Commission is not obliged to introduce the measures called for. Democracy is about decisionmaking - not petitions like to some Medieval king which this resembles. :roll: When you have to bow and scrape to unelected bureaucrats to beg them to pass a law for you, you know you have regressed from democracy to aristpcracy or dictatorship.
 

Clanrickard

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Even if you want to demand "more Europe", the Commission cannot help you. It is the member states that decide whether there will be "more Europe" or not.
It is a case of "If the member states have decided to do X (a particular aim), then you can petition the Commission to propose measures in areas A, B or C (where these are (directly) related to X)". It is then up to the member states and the EP to decide whether to take these proposals up or not.
In theory yes. The reality is that the Commission and the ECJ can get creative and expand the EU competencies into other areas. It doesn't take a legal genius to connect X, in your example above to more areas than were envisioned when X was introduced. Remember the ECJ is a court with a mission and there are many in the EP and EC who share that mission.

Offhand, I'd say there is more than enough scope within the existing EU Treaties to use the citizens initiative so I don't think it can be reasonably be described as a "sham" nor to conclude that it results in "more Europe".
It is a sham. End of. The very idea that the powers that be will take on board the wishes of the great unwashed is laughable.
 

Passer-by

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In theory yes. The reality is that the Commission and the ECJ can get creative and expand the EU competencies into other areas. It doesn't take a legal genius to connect X, in your example above to more areas than were envisioned when X was introduced. Remember the ECJ is a court with a mission and there are many in the EP and EC who share that mission.
As I said, the member states - not the Commission or the ECJ - decide what is in the treaties. If the treaties say "The EU will deal with area X" it is because the member states want this to happen - the Commission doesn't get a choice in the matter.

If either the Commission or the ECJ ever got carried away, the member states are perfectly free to re-write the treaties to "bring them to heal" very quickly. And there isn't a thing either the Commission or the ECJ could do about it.

I appreciate that goes against your idea of the Commission and the ECJ "beating up" the poor defenseless member states but it is reality.

It is a sham. End of. The very idea that the powers that be will take on board the wishes of the great unwashed is laughable.
Well, since the mechanisms for operating the initiative haven't even been finalised, that is an astonishing claim. Until the initiative has been given a chance to operate for a reasonable time frame, it is difficult to see how any objective person could conclude this.
 

kerdasi amaq

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If either the Commission or the ECJ ever got carried away, the member states are perfectly free to re-write the treaties to "bring them to heel" very quickly. And there isn't a thing either the Commission or the ECJ could do about it.
That's a load of rubbish. Authority once given away is hard to regain. Look at struggle to repeal the "Act of Union". To re-negotiate the treaties with 26 self-interested governments will be next to impossible for a peripheral unimportant(poor) State.
 

Passer-by

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That's a load of rubbish. Authority once given away is hard to regain. Look at struggle to repeal the "Act of Union". To re-negotiate the treaties with 26 self-interested governments will be next to impossible for a peripheral unimportant(poor) State.
I specifically said the member states, not a member state. The point wasn't related to the issue of "regaining Authority" at all.

The member states have agreed common areas that they want the EU institutions to work on. That doesn't mean they would tolerate "flights of fancy" into areas they have not agreed to work on together at EU level. No support from the member states (and/or the EP) means Commission proposals don't go anywhere.
 
T

Toman13

As I said, the member states - not the Commission or the ECJ - decide what is in the treaties. If the treaties say "The EU will deal with area X" it is because the member states want this to happen - the Commission doesn't get a choice in the matter.
This is pretty annoying - Europhiles always say, in response to criticism about the way one member is dominating the rest, that it's the commission, not the individual state, that matters. But yet when we criticise the commission, we get told that, no, they don't have the power, the states do. It's like when our ministers hide behind the civil servants and the civil servants hide behind the minister when they screw up - who the hell do we criticise?

The only reason why the Irish people are still buying into this is because of fear, not out of any genuine love for the European Project. Otherwise, can anyone explain why, despite the fact that less than 30% trust the EU, that there is still 80% support for the Euro?
 
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