As many as 9m Europeans from all 28 EU member states have supported a European Citizens’ Initiative since this new tool was created in 2012, according to a report presented by the European Commission on March 28.

The report on the application of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation also shows that four successful initiatives have so far collected over 1m signatures each and the Commission has committed to follow-up actions on three of them.

“The fact that 9m people have supported a European Citizens’ Initiative in the past six years shows that this tool is stimulating participation and debate across national borders, with concrete impact on EU policies,” said First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “But we need to go further: our recent reform proposal will make it much easier for citizens to launch and support new initiatives, also allowing young people from the age of 16 to have their say.”

Among the four initiatives that gathered support from over 1m citizens, the Commission is following up on the ‘Stop Vivisection’ initiative with non-legislative actions. In response to the ‘Right2Water’ initiative, the Commission proposed a revised Directive on Drinking Water last February. And, following the initiative ‘Ban glyphosate and toxic pesticides’, the Commission announced a legislative proposal to improve transparency in scientific assessments and decision-making.