The European Citizens’ Initiative in Times of Brexit

Natasa Athanasiadou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the era of Brexit negotiations, which will determine the future of citizens’ rights in terms of the bilateral relations between the UK and the EU, EU citizens from different Member States have used the instrument of the European citizens’ initiative in order to bring forward their claim for retain-ing the same rights also in the post-Brexit era. The present Article analyses the current legal frame-work for European citizens’ initiatives against the benchmark of general principles of EU law, in par-ticular the principles of good administration, legal certainty and legitimate expectations. On the basis of this analysis, the Brexit-related citizens’ initiatives are used as a case study marking a change in the Commission’s administrative practice, towards more openness and cooperative spirit in the phase of the admissibility check. However, this new approach bears the risk of creating false expectations to organisers and signatories as to the real prospect of an initiative. The Article concludes that, in order to enable the full potential of citizens’ initiatives, the Commission should strengthen the cooperation mechanisms when registering initiatives in line with the principle of good administration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1379-1399
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Papers : a journal on law and integration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Brexit – EU citizenship – citizens’ initiatives – participation – democracy – European Commission.


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