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Summary of the decision in case 1086/2017/PMC on the European Commission’s legal interpretation of the one-year period for collecting signatures of support in a European Citizens’ Initiative

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  • Case: 1086/2017/PMC
    Opened on 04 Oct 2017 - Decision on 04 Oct 2017
  • Institution(s) concerned: European Commission

The issue in this case was when exactly the one-year period, for collecting signatures of support in a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), begins. The European Commission considers that the period begins on the date of registration of an ECI. The complainants explained that this approach disadvantaged them and they argued that the period can start after the date of registration.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that, as the law stands at present, the Commission was justified in considering that the one-year period for the collection of signatures begins on the date of registration of an ECI. She therefore found no maladministration by the Commission.

However, the Ombudsman is pleased to note that the Commission’s recent proposal for a revised ECI Regulation includes a proposal that ECI organisers should be allowed (within certain limits) to choose the start date for the collection of signatures. This satisfactorily addresses the systemic issue underlying this complaint.