Commission registers new European Citizens' Initiative

The initiative could exclude EU livestock farmers from receiving ag subsidies
calendar icon 3 May 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Last week, the European Commission decided to register a European Citizens' Initiative entitled ‘End The Slaughter Age'. The organisers of the initiative have called on the Commission to exclude livestock farming from activities eligible for agricultural subsidies and to include 'ethical' and 'ecological' alternatives, such as cell farming and plant proteins. They have also asked for the introduction of incentives for the production and sale of plant-based and cellular agricultural products.

As the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) fulfils the formal conditions, the Commission considers that this it is legally admissible. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the proposal at this stage.

The Commission said that the decision to register is of a legal nature and does not prejudge the final legal and political conclusions on the initiative. The content of the initiative only expresses the views of the group of organisers, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Commission.

Following the registration, the organisers have six months to open the signature collection. If a European Citizens' Initiative receives one million statements of support within one 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 113 requests to launch a European Citizens' Initiative, 89 of which were admissible and thus qualified to be registered.

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