Today, the ECI has reached the minimum required signature threshold in Austria (13.500), after Germany (72.000) in early January and Belgium (15.750) at the beginning of February. This is the third European member state to reach its required threshold!
Austria: third country to reach the threshold
Today, the Save Bees and Farmers! European Citizens’ Initiative has reached the minimum required signature threshold in Austria (13.500), after Germany (72.000) in early January and Belgium (15.750) at the beginning of February. This is the third European member state to reach its required threshold! A minimum of 7 EU countries crossing their respective thresholds is required in order for an ECI to be considered successful.
The overall figure of signatures throughout the EU now amounts to more than 300.000 (including online as well as paper signature forms), which is close to a third of the one million validated signatures in all 27 EU Member States required in order for the ECI to be considered successful and for it to be officially accepted by the European Commission.
The aim of the Initiative is to obtain a paradigm shift in European agriculture towards a model that meets the needs of the environment, farmers and citizens alike. As such, the ECI alliance will do all that it possibly can to collect at least one million signatures for a bee-friendly agriculture and a healthy environment.
However, the ECI organisers have asked the EU Commission to extend the deadline for collecting signatures: we consider this fair under the circumstances of the current restrictions to public life and activities caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We do not know how the Commission will react as there are no comparable precedents so far, so for the time being, the alliance works with the 30st of September deadline in mind.
The ECI organisers would like to remind that for the moment we are concentrating on the online signature collection: in order to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, unfortunately collecting signatures on paper forms outside your own circle is not possible for the moment (signatures already collected on paper can of course be kept).
The ECI organisers call on civil society to mobilize more than ever to get signatures through all possible online channels: web pages, newsletters and mailings, social media, etc. If we keep joining forces, we will be able to continue the Initiative successfully even in these extraordinary times.
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