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newsEuropean Citizens' Initiative: Commission registers the 100th initiative calling on connecting EU capitals through high-speed trains

Today, the European Commission decided to register a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) entitled ‘Connecting all European capitals and people through a high-speed train network'. The organisers of the initiative call on the Commission to propose a legally binding act aiming at connecting all European capitals through high-speed railway lines by linking the existing high-speed railway networks and building high-speed lines where these do not yet exist.

The decision to register is of a legal nature and does not prejudge the final legal and political conclusions of the Commission on this initiative and the action it will intend to take, if any, in case the initiative obtains the necessary support.

As the European Citizens' Initiative fulfils the formal conditions established in the relevant legislation, the Commission considers that this ECI is legally admissible. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the proposal at this stage.

100 European Citizens' Initiatives

Since ECIs were launched on 1 April 2012, citizens who started initiatives collected around 18 million signatures. The Commission has received 125 requests to launch a European Citizens' Initiative, 100 of which were eventually registered.

The proposal of the Commission to revise the European Citizens' Initiative rules in 2017, adopted by the Council and the Parliament in 2019, has led to increased citizen participation. It has simplified the application process, reduced administrative burdens and increased transparency, making it easier for citizens to register initiatives and collect signatures.

So far, nine initiatives were successful in collecting one million signatures. Seven of them already received a response from the Commission and two are currently under examination. Last 5 April, the Commission responded to the ‘Save bees and farmers! Towards a bee-friendly agriculture for a healthy environment' initiative.

European Citizens' Initiatives give the opportunity to citizens to bring topics on the agenda at EU level and have already led to concrete results. For example, in response to an initiative the Commission announced a proposal for 2023 to prohibit cages for all animals mentioned in the initiative. Legislative acts were adopted in the follow-up to the ‘Right to Water' and ‘Ban Glyphosate' initiatives and entered into application in 2021.

Today's registration marks an important milestone since the introduction of this unique tool that empowers European citizens to actively participate in shaping the policies and priorities of the European Union.

Next Steps

Following today's registration, the organisers have six months to open the signature collection. If a European Citizens' Initiative receives one million statements of support within one year from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react. The Commission could decide either to take the request forward or not, and will be required to explain its reasoning.


The European Citizens' Initiative was introduced with the Lisbon Treaty as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens. It was officially launched in April 2012. Once formally registered, a European Citizens' Initiative allows one million citizens from at least seven EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose legal acts in areas where it has the power to act. The conditions for admissibility are: (1) the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission's powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, (2) it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and (3) it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.

Since the beginning of the ECI, the Commission has received 125 requests to launch a European Citizens' Initiative, 100 of which were admissible and thus qualified to be registered.

For More Information

Connecting all European capitals and people through a high-speed train network

ECIs currently collecting signatures

European Citizens' Initiative Forum

#EUTakeTheInitiative campaign

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