Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 259

Deal on ECI extensions: plans for additional flexibility approved

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 29 giugno 2020

The draft legislation will retroactively extend time limits for the collection, verification and examination phases of European Citizens’ Initiatives affected by COVID-19.Following last week’s adoption by the European Parliament of amendments containing improvements on the original Commission proposal, negotiators from the three EU institutions reached an informal agreement on Thursday afternoon, largely based on Parliament’s position.Parliament’s proposed improvements focused on lowering the thresholds required for the Commission to further extend the temporary measures if the situation remains difficult in September. The necessary threshold will be reduced from a majority of member states originally foreseen (or states representing more than 35% of the Union), to a quarter of EU countries. Another key change is the option for ECI organisers to participate remotely in hearings or meetings, if they choose to do so.After the meeting, rapporteur Loránt Vincze (EPP, RO) said: “We have concluded this process with remarkable swiftness and good cooperation, serving the interests of European citizens. In this way, we are ensuring that the most important EU mechanism for participatory democracy is protected and that ECI organisers are supported in their efforts through legal clarity and flexibility”.
The informal agreement, once endorsed by the Council, will have to be tabled at Constitutional Affairs Committee. Thereafter, the proposal is expected to become legally binding through votes in Parliament’s plenary and in the Council. Parliament aims for the process to be finalised by July. These temporary measures, once adopted, will stay in force until the end of 2022.

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