The debates around the regulation of the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) continue in the EU Council.
Following the identification of key issues (my report), discussions in the Council show that member states seem to be split over most of these key issues.
In a Council document published yesterday, one can see that EU member states have diverging opinions on the admissibility check, regarding the personal data needed with the signature to an ECI and to the online collection system.
The main debate seems to be over the question of personal data and online collection of signatures.
Some member states apparently complained that for administrative reasons they won't be able to quickly check whether online collection systems from ECI organisers fulfil the required specification. Because of these questions, the Council has decided to organise an expert meeting that will try to resolve these differences.
One thing that seems to be consensus among the member states is that they don't want to give delegated power to the Commission in specifying the details of the citizens initiative as formulated in the Annexes 2-8 of the draft regulation, which means that any future revision of the technical details of the ECI except for the number of signatures needed per country would need to go through the decision-making process of the Council and the Parliament.
Seeing the differences between the member states I have doubts that there will be a regulation until the end of the autumn, in particular since after the Council has a first position there will have to be an agreement between the Parliament and the Council.
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