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European Citizens´ Initiative Forum

Young Europeans generate fresh ideas and innovative strategies for European citizens’ initiatives

Updated on: 12/06/2024

Fresh ideas for new European citizens’ initiatives and innovative approaches towards communication and community building emerged at a series of workshops organised by Democracy International at the Level Up! youth conference organised by the European Youth Forum on 12-13 April 2024. 

The workshops included mini European citizens’ initiative simulations, where young people had to come up with creative and impactful ECI proposals. They also worked on the practical aspects of creating effective communication strategies to support them.

Participant at LevelUp workshop presenting their initiative to the rest of the group

Innovative ECI Proposals: Young Minds at Work

Here are some of the initiatives the young people came up with:

  1. Connections across Oceans:  By promoting cultural exchanges and enhancing funding for individual mobility, this proposal aims to connect people across Europe. Partnering with organisations like Youth for Understanding and the European Federation for Intercultural Learning, the proposed initiative seeks to foster understanding and collaboration through exchange programs.
  2.  Don’t Waste My Produce!: Tackling food waste head-on, this proposal advocates for measures to prevent wastage and promote food sharing. It aims to raise awareness and inspire sustainable practices.
  3.  Introduce Price Caps for Essential Foods: Ensuring affordable access to essential foods is the focus of this proposal. Collaborating with food and nutrition-related NGOs, it suggests introducing price caps to make essential foods accessible to all.
  4. PlanT+: This eco-friendly proposal rallies member states to plant trees to combat climate change together. In collaboration with ecological champions like National Geographic, it seeks to raise awareness and drive action for a greener Europe. 
  5. Save our Homes: To address the housing crisis and gentrification, this proposal advocates for affordable and dignified housing for all. Through partnership with municipalities and NGOs supporting homeless people, it aims to ensure everyone has a place to call home and to make housing a right, not a luxury.
  6. Everyone Deserves a Family: Promoting equal adoption rights for LGBTQ+ couples, this initiative aims to foster inclusivity. Collaborating with LGBTQ+ organizations, it seeks to raise awareness and advocate for equal rights.
  7. Green Farm: This proposal advocates for green farming practices through the promotion of ecological farming and animal welfare. Partnering with farms and ecological associations, it aims to create a healthier environment and promote sustainable farming. This is a step towards healthier food and planet.
  8. Switch the Representation from Physical to Digital: Modernising the democratic process, this proposal promotes digital signature collection for Members of European Parliament candidates. Collaborating with Democracy International and European Youth Forum, it seeks to make participation more accessible and inclusive.
  9. AcadeME: This proposal is advocating for free and accessible higher education. The primary objective is to digitalise higher education and make it more accessible. By partnering with universities and tech giants, it seeks to promote equal access to education for all.

Participants at LevelUp workshop in groups brainstorming initiative ideas

Read the blog post on ‘Unlocking Success: Essential Tips for every European Citizens’ Initiative Campaign’.

Stand-Out Strategies: Making a Difference

In today's digital age, social media plays a crucial role in mobilising support and amplifying voices that might otherwise go unheard. The participants of the workshop create their own campaign strategies for their initiatives and were urged to be creative and use their knowledge of social media. 

Young people are at the forefront of this digital revolution, using platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to raise awareness, share ideas, and rally support for causes they believe in. Young Europeans are leveraging social media to promote their proposals, engage with audiences, and build communities around their causes. 

For instance, visual storytelling takes centre stage with both 'Don’t Waste My Produce!' and 'Connections across Oceans' proposals. Both opted for video campaigns to raise awareness and gain support for their campaign. These videos are essential for ECI’s success because they don't just inform audiences but also inspire action, serves as powerful catalysts for change, and could go viral across online platforms.

Collaboration is a cornerstone strategy, as seen with 'Connections across Oceans' partnering with influencers and schools to amplify their message. Influencers, with their ability to reach vast audiences and inspire engagement, are increasingly recognised as invaluable allies in the ECI journey. Their involvement can elevate a campaign from local to viral, ensuring wider reach and deeper impact. Several current and previous ECI organisers confirm the importance of including influencers and celebrities for a successful ECI campaign.

Aside the digital world, on-the-grounds and sometimes funny efforts could be an important aspect for a successful ECI. Imagine dressing up as fruits and vegetables to educate potential supports about your ECI! This creative approach, adopted by the ‘Introduce Price Caps for Essential Foods’ proposal, exemplifies the fun and relatable methods some initiatives could use to educate and engage young people.

Moreover, the power of community partnerships should not be underestimated. Proposals like 'Save our Homes' and 'Everyone Deserves a Family' considers forging connections with local organisations, city or municipal authorities, and communities as they recognise that grassroots movements are often where real, lasting change begins. 

The strategies employed by these young Europeans are diverse, innovative, and demonstrate a keen understanding of both the digital landscape and the importance of community engagement. They are not just addressing issues - instead, they are effective means of turning ideas into action, proving that when passion meets strategy, transformative change is possible.

Participants at LevelUp workshop brainstorming and discussing with eachother potential initiative ideas

Check out the Webinar 'Communicating Your ECI! Tips and tricks on how to promote your initiative'

Whether you're a current or potential ECI organiser, remember that the ECI is more than just a democratic tool — it is a testament to the power of collective action and the importance of including diverse voices in shaping Europe's future. By actively involving young people in projects like the ECI, we are empowering them to shape their own futures and ensuring that our democratic processes remain vibrant and relevant. With new perspectives and innovative ideas, young Europeans are embracing the opportunity that the ECI offers to shape European policies and are proving ready to take the lead for future initiatives.

Finally, for all the support you'll need to successfully navigate the ECI process, don't hesitate to delve into the ECI Forum. Here, you'll find a rich diversity of learning materials and opportunities to guide you towards a successful ECI journey!


Read more about young people and the European Citizens’ Initiative:

The organiser of Ban Conversion Practices in the EU: We chose to use the European Citizens’ Initiative because it gives voice to European citizens

Onboarding young people to the European Citizens’ Initiative: highlighting challenges and solutions

The ECI Gamified: Young People Learn to Have Their Voices Heard in the European Union

Young Italians Test the European Citizens Initiative as a Tool to Mobilise for the Climate

A New Workbook on the European Citizens’ Initiative Provides Guidance to Students on How to Use this Tool for Engagement and Active Citizenship

Over 100 Students from Four European Universities Master the European Citizens’ Initiative through the Innovative “ECI from A to Z” Project


Felicia Mabel Frempong

Felicia Mabel Frempong is a European Programme Intern at Democracy International, an NGO dedicated to enhancing citizens' involvement in political decision-making processes. With a good understanding of the European Citizens' Initiative, Felicia brings valuable expertise to the discussion. Currently in her final year in Master of Development Studies, with a specialisation in international economics at the University of Bayreuth, she is poised to contribute significantly to the field of civic engagement and international development.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on the ECI Forum reflect solely the point of view of their authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the position of the European Commission or of the European Union.