First of all, a warning! A warning about the comprehension of the European Commission press release and of the initiative of the European Citizens’ Initiative entitled “Let us reduce the wage and economic differences that tear the EU apart.”
Commission Press release
Commission registers European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘Let us reduce the wage and economic differences that tear the EU apart’
Brussels, 16 May 2017
The Commission has today decided on the partial registration of a European Citizens’ Initiative on tackling wage and economic inequality, concerning legal acts within its competences.
The European Commission has today decided to make a partial registration of a European Citizens’ Initiative which invites the Commission to propose “Legal acts that clearly demonstrate the EU’s intention to eliminate wage inequalities between Member States and which – to achieve this objective – allow for a more efficient cohesion of these states“.
The formal registration of this Initiative on 22 May 2017 will start a one-year process of collection of signatures of support by its organisers.
The Commission’s decision to register the Initiative concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage. The Commission’s Decision makes clear for which kind of legal acts signatures may be collected, dependent on the competences set out in the Treaties (see Annex).
Should the Initiative receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months. The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.
European Citizens’ Initiatives were introduced with the Lisbon Treaty and launched as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens in April 2012, upon the entry into force of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation which implements the Treaty provisions.
Once formally registered, a European Citizens’ Initiative allows one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose a legal act in areas where the Commission has the power to do so.
The conditions for admissibility, as foreseen by the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation, are that the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, that it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and that it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.
Annex – Legal Acts for which statements of support may be collectedLegal acts of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties can be adopted:
– on guidelines which the Member States shall take into account in their employment policies;
– relating to the European Social Fund, which aims to render the employment of workers easier and to increase their geographical and occupational mobility within the Union, and to facilitate their adaptation to industrial changes and to changes in production systems, in particular through vocational training and retraining;
– in order to define the tasks, priority objectives and the organisation of the Structural Funds provided that the actions to be financed lead to the strengthening of the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the Union.
Legal acts of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties in order to support and complement the activities of the Member States can be adopted – provided that they do not apply to pay or to the rights of association, to strike or to impose lock-outs– in the fields of working conditions; of social security and social protection of workers; of protection of workers where their employment contract is terminated; of the information and consultation of workers; of representation and collective defence of the interests of workers and employers, including co-determination; of the integration of persons excluded from the labour market; of combating social exclusion; and of the modernisation of social protection systems.
According to the Wikipedia, The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a European Union mechanism aimed at increasing direct democracy by enabling the “EU citizens to participate directly in the development of EU policies”.
It was introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, its start of the ECI was marked on 9 May 2012 (Europe Day) with the registration of Fraternité 2020.
But the ECI on wages and economic difference is not a registered body that initiates the initiatives, which are launched by different organizers.
First three successful initiatives
On the 21 March 2013, Right2Water became the first ECI to collect more than a million signatures and they reached the minimum quota of signatures in seven countries on the 7 May 2013. It stopped the signature collection on the 7 September 2013, with a total of 1,857,605 signatures. The initiative was submitted to the Commission in December 2013 and the public hearing took place on the 17 February 2014 at the European Parliament. In March 2014, the Commission has adopted the Communication in response to the Right2Water initiative. On the 1 July 2015 the Roadmap for the evaluation of the Drinking Water Directive has been published.
One of Us
On 28 February 2014, One of us has been submitted to the Commission as a second ECI having gathered 1,896,852 signatures (so far the highest number of signatures per ECI). A public hearing on the initiative has taken place at the European Parliament on the 10 April 2014. On the 28 May 2014 the European Commission has adopted the Communication on the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of us”.
On 3 March 2015, the third European Citizens’ Initiative to gather the required number of signatories, Stop Vivisection, has been submitted to the Commission. The campaign collected 1,326,807 signatures. On the 11 May 2015, a public hearing at the European Parliament has taken place. On 3 June 2015, the European Commission has adopted the Communication on the European Citizens’ Initiative “Stop Vivisection”.
Member states participating in the Wage and Economic Differences Initiative which is called WageUnion are
Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia
according to organizers website.
I wonder whether the workers in Greece will also be included – or excluded due to special austerity-allows-all-forms-of exploitation status.
Whatever. My problem is that I honestly tend to understand not much about this initiative… But maybe I am not the brightest lamp in this EU corner. Another reason is that I am not willing to spend hours on internet to read several pages and click some 6 to 7 links just to get an idea about the whole issue.
The Commission’s bureaucratic press release was probably the obligatory official announcement produced by the staff of a castle sunk in bureaucracy with no interest to its citizens.
Eurocracy that is….
Quagmire production of papers in accord.
It just appeared on my Timeline on Twitter and I thought the EU Commission was trolling the EU citizens