European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Let’s demand smarter vaping regulation!’ initiative’
The European Commission has today, February 12, decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative entitled ‘Let’s demand smarter vaping regulation!’.
The objective of the initiative is to: ” create bespoke legislation which clearly sets vaping products apart from tobacco and pharmaceutical products”. The organisers call on the Commission to “ensure new legislation [for vaping products] based on mandatory compliance with robust product quality, safety and manufacturing standards, together with responsible marketing practices that ensure youth protection”.
The European Commission’s decision to register the Initiative concerns only the legal admissibility of the proposal. The Commission has not analysed the substance at this stage.
The registration of this Initiative will take place on 20 February 2019, starting a one-year process of collection of signatures of support by its organisers. Should the initiative receive one million statements of support within one year, from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react within three months.
The Commission can decide either to follow the request or not, and in both instances would be required to explain its reasoning.
European Citizens’ Initiatives were introduced with the Lisbon Treaty and launched as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens in April 2012, upon the entry into force of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation which implements the Treaty provisions. In 2017, as part of President Juncker’s State of the Union address, the European Commission tabled reform proposals for the European Citizens’ Initiative to make it even more user-friendly. In December 2018, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on the reform and the revised rules will start applying as of 1 January 2020.
Once formally registered, a European Citizens’ Initiative allows one million citizens from at least one quarter of EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose a legal act in areas where the Commission has the power to do so.
The conditions for admissibility are that the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, that it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and that it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.