The European Citizens’ Initiative: the territorial extension of a European political public sphere?
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GREENWOOD, J. and TUOKKO, K. 2016. The European Citizens’ Initiative: the territorial extension of a European political public sphere? European politics and society [online], Latest Articles. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23745118.2016.1202234
A key aim of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) introduced in 2012 was to promote transnational discussion and deliberation, but there is relatively little analysis of the impact of this feature. We use primary and secondary data collection to examine the legacies left by almost 50 ECI campaigns at the conclusion of their official status, identifying mixed results. Using data drawn from interviews with 22 Citizen Committees, we identify and assess ECI campaigns which have disappeared with little trace of continued networks of communication, and at the other end of the spectrum, we find a notable reach of campaigns into some Central and East European countries, in which a young cohort of post-student campaigners attracted by the use of new technologies for campaigning feature prominently. In recognition of debates about the prospects for EU democratisation which transnational contestation might provide, we identify from continuing campaigns shared features which may provide clues as to the formation of political public spheres across national boundaries.