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The European Citizens’ Initiative: A New Model of Democracy in the European Union?

Subject and Keywords:

European Citizens’ Initiative   European Union   democracy   participatory democracy   deliberative democracy


The European Union’s Lisbon Treaty introduced the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) as ameans of strengthening citizen involvement in EU decision making. It is in force since April 2012and gives the right to at least one million citizens from at least seven of the EU’s current 27member states to request that the European Commission submits a legislative proposal on theissue of the initiative. However, the goal of the ECI is not only to strengthen participatorydemocracy in the EU. It also bears the potential for a more fundamental transformation ofdemocracy namely in the direction of transnational participatory democracy.The thesis starts with a historical and theoretical analysis of such notions as participatory anddeliberative democracy, as well as democracy within the European Union. The author analysesalso selected examples of national citizens’ initiative and presents an in-depth analysis of howthe ECI functions, the importance of civil society organisations in that context and what can bedone to improve the tool. Based on that, the thesis tries to answer its main question: can theEuropean Citizens’ Initiative become a new and effective model of EU democracy, which willtransform it into a more participative political system?

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Degree discipline:

political science and public administration

Degree grantor:

University of Wroclaw

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Rights holder:

Copyright by Paweł Głogowski

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