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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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Giampiero BORDINO

It is generally accepted and quite easily arguable that the European Union is now at a decisive turning point in its history. Either it quickly manages to move forward in a clear and conscious way towards a real federation of states, endowed with effective power which is at the same time legitimized by consensus, or it risks moving backwards and disintegrating, opening up in Europe a dreadful “Pandora’s box” filled with nationalism, separatism, xenophobia and racism, and more generally with populist “deviations” of different political leanings. The results of the European elections of May 2014, with the strong growth of populist, Eurosceptic, nationalist and xenophobic parties and movements, seems to confirm that the risk of this prospect is real.

The global context in which the European integration process is situated today and the many unsolved problems of ungoverned globalization “coming home to roost” have brought to light and, so to speak, “ignited” the two fundamental structural limitations of integration reached so far: the lack of democratic legitimacy of the decision-making processes and, at the same time, the absence or lack of effectiveness of the policies, in particular the economic development and social inclusion policies. Faced with the crisis which originated in the United States between 2007 and 2008 and its gradual expansion and evolution (in different stages, with the initial financial crisis of private debt and then of sovereign debt, and finally, the recession of the real economy), with the monopoly of...

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