On the 20th of October, the European Parliament Plenary approved an amendment to the European Parliament Budget that indicates an important effort to raise awareness on participatory democracy instruments available for EU Citizens. Thanks to the work of the Italian MEP Elisabellta Gualmini (S&D), 3 million euros will be included in the European Parliament budget in 2022 under the "Rights and Values" program.
The next steps will be the results of the negotiation with the European Council in the next weeks. But in the meantime we can celebrate this as a first success of European citizens and organizations who decided to mobilize together and join forces to strengthen the level of information on participatory democracy and on the awareness that European Citizens have about their political rights and the recognition the European Parliament gave to these citizens.
MEP Gualmini was inspired by the EU SIGN DAY initiative, that EUMANS led in collaboration with the coalition Citizens Take Over Europe and the promoters of the European Citizens Initiatives (among which Stopglobalwarming.eu, the European Citizens Initiative for carbon pricing promoted by EUMANS) that were ongoing back in May 2021. During that mobillisation we commissioned a survey to YouGov that showed that only 2,4% of citizens know what European Citizens Initiatives are and we called for a series of measures to guarantee Equal Dignity for Participatory Deomocracy: with the ultimate goal of balancing the resources that the EU allocated for elections when it comes to participatory democracy instruments.