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European Citizens´ Initiative Forum

How to Collect Signatures

Support for the European citizens' initiatives can be collected either on paper (using pre-filled, downloadable forms) or online. 

Central Online Collection System

The Central Online Collection System is the tool provided by the European Commission to European citizens’ initiative organisers to collect statements of support online. As of 2023 it is the only system that organisers of new initiatives can use to collect signatures for their initiatives online.

Learn more about the Central Online Collection System (COCS), offered to initiative organisers by the European Commission. 

NEW guidance note on the Central Online Collection System:

Guidance Note: Central Online Collection System
Guidance Note on the Central Online Collection System
(520.88 KB - PDF)

Tips and tricks on collecting signatures


Signatories need to be EU citizens (nationals of EU Member States) and old enough to vote in European Parliament elections (age 18 or lower in some Member States) – unless the Member State has decided to lower the minimum age for initiative signatories to 16 and has informed the Commission accordingly. See the list of age requirements.

Read more here:

European Citizens' Initiative Secrets of Success Revealed: Insider Tips on How to Get 1,6 Million Signatures and Surpass the Threshold in Twenty-One EU Member States

Anatomy of a miracle: how the last 20 days of the Stop Finning EU campaign became a gamechanger.

National Authorities Take on How to Ensure Your Signatures Get Verified

The European Citizens’ Initiative’s Central Online Collection System Explained

In this video Jerome Stefanini, the IT officer responsible for the system at the Commission highlights its properties and advantages and replies to questions and comments from ECI organisers.

Video transcript. The European Citizens’ Initiative’s Central Online Collection System Explained
(91.73 KB - PDF)
Suggestions on collecting signatures for your initiative

Learning from the ones who made it: tips and tricks on collecting signatures from Olga Kikou, End the Cage Age, European citizens’ initiative organiser.

Video transcript. Testimony, Olga Kikou, End the Cage Age European citizens’ initiative organiser
(65.19 KB - PDF)

Guidance Notes

How to collect signatures: often the hardest step
How to Collect Statements of Support
(240.14 KB - PDF)


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.
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