Step 1: Sign the ECI? Not Quite!
We’re not gonna sugarcoat it: trying to sign an ECI can be a borderline-science.
On top of reaching one million signatures, there is also a requirement that an ECI must collect a certain minimum number of signatures in at least 7 Member States. But thanks to bilateral relations, there are also “easy-sign cases” and “hard-sign cases”. There’s no absolutely simple or perfect way to summarize all of this information, but this page explains the basics. If you are like us and you want to protest the complexity of this process, sign and help us reach a million signatures so that we can bring this up during our presentation to the European Parliament!
The table below shows the minimum number of signatures that must be achieved in various EU countries.
Although it may seem easy enough to plan on targeting countries based on their size or population, there is another complicating factor. The Table in this link is a summary of bilateral relations which limit who may sign, who may not, and who needs to provide additional identification or inform their national authorities about their place of residence before they sign. The sections below will seek to summarize the information on that table in the simplest way possible, however the table should always be consulted! (particularly when in doubt)
The Easy Cases
Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Slovakia and the United Kingdom have made it easy to sign an ECI. In all of these countries you have two options:
- Sign as a local even if that is not your nationality (as long as you are legally present)
- Sign as your country of nationality even if you currently live in these countries
For the sake of this initiative, please choose strategically. For example: a Polish living in the UK can sign as both, but it would be more strategic to sign as Polish. If we campaign in the UK and every Pole signs as British, then we will have to campaign in Poland as well. So as a general rule of thumb: If you have more than one option available to you, please choose the one with less signatures (especially if we’ve already surpassed the minimum in one of those countries).
The Hard Cases
Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France and Portugal have made it particularly difficult to sign an ECI. All of these countries will only let you sign as your country of nationality, and even then you will be required to submit an identification document.
EU Citizens outside the EU (worldwide): most of you are allowed to sign!
You read that correctly. If you have the nationality of a Member State, then almost all of you are allowed to sign this ECI (except for Irish and UK nationals). Again, check the last row of the table in order to see what type of identification you’ll need.
But what does that mean? That means we can make this a worldwide movement! If you have friends or family members who are European by nationality then feel free to share this with them even if they live in the US, Asia, Latin America, Africa or Antartica! Perhaps some of them have ancestors who migrated out of war-torn Europe after WWII, and this initiative is for them too. Let’s take advantage of technology in the 21st Century to make sure that every European who believes in the idea of Europe and its Union can make their voice heard regardless of where they live!