Commission accepts EU citizens' rights ECI

Written by Martin Banks on 19 July 2018 in News

The European Commission has moved to allay fears that the rights of the estimated 3.5 million EU citizens in the UK will be hit when Britain exits the bloc next March.

Photo credit: Press Association

On Thursday, the executive accepted a European citizens' initiative (ECI), called ‘Permanent European Union citizenship’, which intends to guarantee that European citizenship and its associated rights cannot be lost after Brexit.

The organisers of the ECI cite Brexit as the reason for submitting the petition and the future possible loss of EU citizenship and rights by UK nationals.

A Commission spokesperson said that the decision to register the initiative concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal and that it had yet not analysed the substance of the petition.


But, 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.

European citizens' initiatives were introduced with the Lisbon treaty and launched as an agenda-setting tool in 2012.

Once formally registered, an ECI allows one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU member states to invite the Commission to propose a legal act in areas where the executive has the power to do so. Following a poor take up of the scheme, the ECI initiative was recently re-launched by the Commission.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter for the Parliament Magazine


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