What would you do today if you were certain of success?

Think about it, write it down and then … go and do it!

You only live once, and once passed, a moment never returns

Stephen Littleword, The technology of the obvious ~

 

With this quote, I suggest that we accept the numerous invitations that have flooded European communication networks over the last few months. It may seem like a matter for the experts, but it is actually directed at all of you, all of you adult European citizens!

Indeed, a new instrument came into force last year which is called EUROPEAN CITIZEN’S INITIATIVE.

In some European Countries, this really is something new, considering that we are generally used to having our voices heard only by way of an abrogative referendum where we vote to change either all of a law or part of it. This, on the other hand, is about taking the initiative! Thanks to the work of citizens, from at least seven European countries, who have formed committees and have already published several proposals (or ECI, an acronym meaning “European Citizens’ Initiative”) in the areas of the European Commission’s competencies. These are available on the EU’s Website.

Now it is up to us to support them if we share the same values and needs. Because, they will only become genuine proposals for the European Commission to support, if they collect one million signatures from citizens who represent at least seven of the Member States.

I have started to research them and at the moment, among the many open proposals, I have subscribed to an initiative in favour of protecting media pluralism. It aims to partly harmonise national legislation in Europe with regards to propriety and transparency; conflict of interest with political leaders; and the independence of the regulatory bodies.

This initiative also provides us with the opportunity to enforce Article 11 of the “Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union” (“Freedom of expression and information”) which cites that «Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers» and goes on to affirm that «media pluralism shall be respected».

 

Then, if you are really inspired and want to take direct action, you can get started and propose a new initiative of your own.

It’s as easy as that!

It’s about Europe, It’s about YOU!

(cit. European Year of Citizens 2013)

 

 

Serena Barilaro

President of Sharing Europe

Article translated by: Danielle Moodie