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A New Right for Democracy and Development in Europe

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)

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Edited By Giampiero Bordino

This volume analyses the problems and instruments of European citizens’ political participation and focuses in particular on the «European Citizens’ Initiative» (ECI) right. Introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, the ECI enables European citizens to propose legislative measures to the Commission by collecting one million signatures in at least seven EU countries. The European federalists were the first to initiate one of the most important applications of this instrument with their proposal for a «European Special Plan for Sustainable Development», aimed at addressing the ongoing serious economic and social crisis.
The essays collected in this volume by authors from different disciplines, backgrounds and nationalities offer reflections on citizenship rights and themes relating to the European crisis, as well as on the necessary steps to revive development in Europe. The informative and functional documentation proposed in the Appendix constitutes a user manual for the potential and concrete application of this new right by European citizens and their various associations.
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The European People for a Europe 2.0

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1

Nicola VALLINOTO

As a result of the “European citizens’ initiative”, newly introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, in the coming years there will be an increase in the mobilisation of European civil society on individual issues, many of which have emerged in the various contributions of Europe 2.0, from Peace as a founding value of the Union, to European citizenship of residence, minimum wage, protection of public goods including digital knowledge and rights, the rejection of war, a European civil service, protection of the environment, and so on. If the individual mobilisations are to successfully strengthen European democracy, they must all share and be based on the requirement for a reform of the institutional framework of the Union in a federal direction.

The clash between the two cultures – the one centred on a neo-liberal view that looks to the future in a Manichean and single-minded fashion, summed up by Margaret Thatcher’s acronym TINA (There Is No Alternative), and the other one developed and grown around the events of the world social forums, called TAMA (There Are Many Alternatives), has seen the imposing of the first but also the provisional establishing in collective consciousness of the second, especially after the economic and financial crisis beginning in 2008. Another possible world could be definitively found, not as a temporary solution, as long as the institutional culture of federalism is accepted, proposing by means of rules and democratic, legitimate and effective global institutions, the governing by...

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