Possibilities of participation in Europe

You can take part in the European political process in many different ways. First of all, the European elections, being held every five years, are of great importance. Citizens of EU countries are in this way able to elect their representatives to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Citizens are also involved in European decision-making by voting their own national parliaments and governments. Regarding decisions taken between European governments the influence of citizens is often criticized to be extremely minimal.

Independently of this, there are possibilities to participate more directly in the political process. Since April 2012 it is now possible to start a European Citizens’ Initiative which obliges the EU Commission to propose an act of law. This requires one million signatures of EU citizens coming from at least seven EU countries. The European Citizens’ Initiative, thus, represents a chance to increase involvement of citizens’ ideas in Europe.

Other forms of political participation of citizens as well as civil society in Europe are resulting from the right to petition at the European Parliament, public consultations of the EU Commission, surveys, feedback and online debates. On top of that, it is possible to file a complaint with the European Ombudsman.

Here you can find further information about the possibilities of participation in the EU:

European Union – Take part!

European Ombudsman

European Citizens’ Initiative

European Parliament