A Voice can lead to a Vision: How to Organize a Successful European Citizens’ Initiative

Maximilian Menkenhagen


My research builds upon the existing research on ICT, narrowing the focus of attention down to its influence on the potential of governmental petitioning. I use the Civic Voluntarism Model (CVM) in order to analyze the factors necessary for successful participation in and especially through the ECI. This theoretical assessment is then applied to the case of the Right to Water initiative. Hereby, I want to find out what factors lead to its success in gathering signatures, thereby raising awareness about EU policies. I argue that ICT enhances the chance for success, as it heavily simplifies advertising, and supporting an ECI. However, the ECI does not constitute a ‘revolutionary’ step for European politics. As the analysis of the Right to Water initiative exemplifies, the resources necessary for launching and organizing a successful ECI are too high for giving every EU citizen the chance to influence the public debate. Still, this paper argues the ECI can be an effective instrument for interest groups like political parties, workers unions, environmental activists and other non-governmental organizations to raise citizen awareness of supranational development and gather support for reacting to these.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26481/marble.2014.v4.199


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