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The Past and Future of the Right to Petition the European Parliament

Vogiatzis, Nikos (2022) 'The Past and Future of the Right to Petition the European Parliament.' Yearbook of European Law, 40 (2021). pp. 82-110. ISSN 0263-3264

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Abstract

This article critically evaluates the right to petition the European Parliament, a right which has not managed, to date, to constitute a credible alternative for citizens’ participation in the EU. It argues that there are two main reasons for the shortcomings of this right. First, before Maastricht, the Petitions’ Committee suffered the consequences of a broader decline of parliamentary petitions within and beyond Europe. Second, after Maastricht and Lisbon, the petition right was affected by the (partly complementary and partly divergent) rights to complain to the European Ombudsman and to sign or support a European citizens’ initiative. In addition, and possibly as a consequence of the above reasons, throughout its life, the petition right and the Committee on Petitions more generally have not benefited from significant resources, while their visibility has been very limited. A comparative examination of the three rights (petitions, European Ombudsman, citizens’ initiative) in terms of access, scope, user-friendliness and outcome is undertaken. Looking at the future of the petition right, in an era marked by the resurgence of online petitions, the article argues that the Petitions’ Committee should strategically focus on areas which are not covered by the two aforementioned rights, namely the national level and broader policy choices in the EU, in order to maximize its input and relevancy within the EU’s decision-making world.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2021 14:58
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 15:59
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31592

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