Commission decides on requests for registration of two new European Citizens' Initiatives

Source: European Commission (EC) i, published on Tuesday, December 14 2021.

Today, the Commission decided to register a European Citizens' Initiative entitled ‘The Green VAT - An EU Green VAT to stimulate sustainable and eco-friendly products and services'. The organisers of the initiative call on the Commission to propose a legal act with the aim of ‘reducing the VAT rate for green products and services'.

Organisers call on the Commission to initiate tax reductions for ecological, sustainably produced and environmentally friendly products in Europe in order to support climate and environmental protection. As this European Citizens' Initiative fulfils the necessary conditions, the Commission considers that it is legally admissible. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the proposal at this stage.

Also today, the Commission had to refuse the registration of the ‘EVE initiative for the creation of the right to decide'. The initiative calls on the Commission to make a proposal for the introduction of a new fundamental right which should establish a ‘system of direct democracy' at the level of the Union institutions, where the citizens can decide, ‘in a cohesive way', ‘on common or public matters', thus jointly exercising the ‘sovereignty of the people'. Reaching this objective can only be achieved through a change of the Treaties. Regulation (EU) 2019/788, however, only allows for initiatives that ask the Commission to propose, within the framework of its powers, acts of secondary law to implement the Treaties. The refusal followed on a two-stage procedure, in which organisers, in a first stage, were invited to amend their initial initiative, taking into account the first assessment of the Commission.

Next Steps

Following today's registration, the organisers of the ‘Green VAT' ECI have six months to start collecting signatures. If a European Citizens' Initiative receives 1 million statements of support within 1 year from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react. The Commission could decide either to take the request forward or not, and will be required to explain its reasoning.


The European Citizens' Initiative was introduced with the Lisbon Treaty as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens. It was officially launched in April 2012.

The conditions for admissibility are: (1) the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission's powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, (2) it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and (3) it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.

Since the beginning of the ECI, the Commission has received 110 requests to launch a European Citizens' Initiative, 86 of which were legally admissible and thus qualified to be registered.

The refusal of the registration of the initiative ‘EVE initiative for the creation of the right of decision' is the first refusal of an ECI registration since the new ECI Regulation started applying in January 2020. Since then, the Commission has registered 16 initiatives (including 4 that benefited from the new two-stage registration procedure).

For More Information

The Green VAT - An EU Green VAT to stimulate sustainable and eco-friendly products and services'


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European Citizens' Initiative Forum

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