Since its founding in 1959, the Institute for European Politics (IEP) has been a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of European integration.
European Citizens’ Initiative
European Citizens’ Initiative: great expectations – extensive scepticism
Since 1 April 2012, all European citizens maintain a new EU citizenship right: through the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), 1 Million European citizens own the right to invite the European Commission to submit a proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaty. The IEP monitors the establishment of this new instrument of participative democracy as part of the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon on an academic level.
As an instrument of participative democracy, the ECI offers the opportunity to expedite democracy in the EU. The IEP, therefore, deals with new fields of research by focusing on the EU’s potential to initiate transnational discursive spheres and to include new actors and citizens in EU decision-making processes. The ECI is, at the same time, accompanied by extensive skepticism of the civil society regarding its implementation. According to the upcoming evaluation of the ECI regulations in 2015, questions concerning the implementation is also of interest to the IEP.