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Citizens can benefit from open-source e-Petitions service via social networking

Thanks to EuroPetition, citizens can benefit from an open-source e-Petitions service, which uses online social networking, to coordinate local, cross-border and pan-European petitions across the European Union.

EuroPetition, an e-Participation pilot project provided by local and regional authorities in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, is composed of a network of experts.

These experts help support citizens wishing to petition the European Parliament and, starting in 2012, the European Commission, thanks to the coming into force of the European citizens' initiative (ECI). According to the ECI, one million citizens from a significant number of member states can call on the European Commission to bring forward new policy proposals (Article 11, Treaty on European Union). Thus citizens and regions will have the opportunity to put issues on the European legislative agenda.

The service also helps petitioners gain signatories in other member states and, thanks to its panel of experts, ensures that petitions have a reasonable chance of being taken up.

To date, a total of 209 local petitions and 63 multilingual European petitions have been generated via EuroPetition, involving clusters of 18 local authorities and targeting over eight million citizens.