Another Europe is Possible is supporting a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) campaigning to ensure that UK and European citizens get to keep their citizenship rights after Brexit. When it’s launched fully in May, we will all need to campaign to get the million signatures it needs.
What is a European Citizens Initiative (ECI)?
An ECI is a form of mass participation in European Union politics. If a million EU citizens from across the continent express support for a specific proposal, the European Commission will formally be requested to introduce the policy. Usually, this results in a debate in the European Parliament and has in a number of cases lead to progressive policy becoming law. Right2Water, for instance, committed the EU to making the right to water and sanitation a universal right in 2013.
This is obviously a very limited form of direct participation. But it’s arguably better than, for instance, the UK Parliament’s petitions system, under which successful petitions don’t even get voted on.
What is this all about?
This ECI – called “Retaining European Citizenship” – is about protecting the citizenship rights of UK and EU nationals after Brexit. It would mean that UK citizens would get to keep European citizenship after the UK leaves the EU, and vice versa. This idea of British people being allowed to retain their EU citizenship has gained a lot of support already, including from the EU’s lead negotiator Guy Verhofstadt.
You can find out all about the proposal here, until it goes live in May: http://www.eucitizen2017.org/
What can I do?
For now, spread the word. When the proposal goes live on the European Commission website on May 2nd, we’ll need to start gathering support.
Want to know more about the concept of retaining EU citizenship?
Then have a look at the debate about the proposals on our website. You can check out Professor Mary Kaldor’s case for individual citizenship here, and Niccolo Milanese discussion of it here. If you want to write something, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
And here’s the full text of the ECI
‘To uphold the right of all Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States under objective conditions of freedom and dignity (Directive 2004/38/EC), and to safeguard citizens of the Union from use as bargaining chips in any negotiations under Article 50 TEU, requests the Commission submit a proposal to retain the rights of EU citizenship for all those who have already exercised their freedom of movement prior to the departure of a Member State leaving the Union, as well as for those nationals of the departing State who wish to retain their status as citizens of the Union.’
13th April 2017