Today, the European Commission decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) entitled ‘End The Horse Slaughter Age’.
The organisers of the initiative call on the Commission to propose a law banning the slaughter of horses, including also their breeding and export for the production of fur, leather, meat or for the manufacture of medicines or other substances. They also call for the ban on long-distance transportation of horses across Europe for slaughter and for the protection of horses from doing excess work or hard training.
The decision to register is of a legal nature and does not prejudge the final legal and political conclusions of the Commission on this initiative and the action it will intend to take, if any, in case the initiative obtains the necessary support.
As the European Citizens’ Initiative fulfils the formal conditions, the Commission considers that it is legally admissible. The Commission has not analysed the substance of the proposal at this stage.
The content of the initiative only expresses the views of the group of organisers, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the Commission.
Following today’s registration, the organisers have six months to open the signature collection. If a European Citizens’ Initiative receives one million statements of support within one year from at least seven different Member States, the Commission will have to react. The Commission could decide either to take the request forward or not, and will be required to explain its reasoning.
The European Citizens’ Initiative was introduced with the Lisbon Treaty as an agenda-setting tool in the hands of citizens. It was officially launched in April 2012. Once formally registered, a European Citizens’ Initiative allows one million citizens from at least seven EU Member States to invite the European Commission to propose legal acts in areas where it has the power to act. The conditions for admissibility are: (1) the proposed action does not manifestly fall outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act, (2) it is not manifestly abusive, frivolous or vexatious and (3) it is not manifestly contrary to the values of the Union.
Since the beginning of the ECI, the Commission has received 125 requests to launch a European Citizens’ Initiative, 99 of which were admissible and thus qualified to be registered.