Today, the Commission decided to register a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) entitled ‘Focus on Specific Learning Disabilities on EU Level’.
The initiative aims to facilitate the access to education of people with specific learning disabilities (i.e. dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia). The organisers are particularly concerned about varying definitions of learning disabilities, distinct methods of detection and assistance for people with specific learning disabilities offered in the Member States. They call on the Commission to present a proposal for common guidelines on how to detect and address learning disabilities, to ensure a better integration of people with such disabilities within the educational system, also when exercising their right to free movement. The initiative also invites the Commission to significantly contribute to the research on specific learning disabilities.
As this 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.
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 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 119 requests to launch a European Citizens’ Initiative, 94 of which were admissible and thus qualified to be registered. Today’s decision brings the number of initiatives registered this year to 8.
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