EU Flag

It’s something we don’t see much here in America: politicians voting to expand initiative rights. The European Citizens’ Initiative is a new instrument introduced by the Lisbon Treaty whereby one million citizens may ask the European Commission to propose a new EU law. Yesterday the Constitutional Affairs Committee voted to make it easier to sign a petition and lowered the threshold of member states needed to qualify a measure. You can read more here.

Our partner organization Citizens In Charge Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is currently accepting applications for 2011 internships. We are looking for undergraduates, grad students and recent grads from all majors as well as law students.

RecallWhile Citizens in Charge works primarily on the rights of initiative and referendum, there is a third process that is important in ensuring citizen control of government. Citizens in eighteen states have the power of recall, whereby elected official can be removed from office before the expiration of their term. When citizens are dissatisfied with their elected officials, they can petition to have a recall election put on the ballot. Removal can be for malfeasance or in many jurisdictions for any action the recall language specifies.

It’s not every day a cabinet minister visits rural canton Fribourg, so when Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf attended a public debate in Wünnewil the locals turned out in force. The justice minister was there to launch the government’s counter-initiative to a rightwing proposal to tighten the rules on the deportation of criminal foreigners. A nationwide vote on the issue takes place on November 28.

Read the story from Swiss Info

U.S. Conference on I&R - An Overview

Fri, Sep 24 by Anonymous

I just posted a new video on our YouTube Channel; it’s a quick overview of some of the panels and topics discussed at the U.S. Conference on I&R out in San Francisco in July and August.

Check it out here.

Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said on Monday that everybody was pleased with the result of Sunday’s referendum (on constitutional amendments), and this was a turning point for Turkey. Giving a break from Council of Ministers meeting to speak with 13 foreign journalists from EU countries, Bagis said that they were currently assessing the referendum results in the Council of Ministers meeting.

Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob sat down with Eric O’Keefe from Sam Adams Alliance while out in San Francisco earlier this month to talk about the initiative & referendum process and citizen rights.

Sam Adams Alliance posted the podcast of it last night on their website. It’s a good interview and you should definitely check it out here.


Audrey Wall from the Council of State Governments talks about the poll recently conducted by Citizens in Charge Foundation, as well as the success of the 2010 US Conference on Initiative & Referendum and the 2010 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.




Conference Speaker Bios

Thu, Aug 19 2010 by Staff

For those of you who were not able to attend the conference, we’ve uploaded the speaker bios from the official conference program.

Feel free to take a look and see who spoke to the hundreds in attendance over the 6 day gathering.

You can check out the bios here.

America’s ideological warriors, ranging from Ralph Nader on the left to Grover Norquist on the right, will take part, beginning Friday, in a five-day conference in San Francisco on global trends in direct democracy.

Read the story from The Sacramento Bee

Great Pics from San Francisco

Fri, Aug 13 2010 by Staff

There are some great pictures of the conferences in San Francisco from Steve Rhodes Flickr account. Check them out if you haven’t done so already, and also make sure to check out our YouTube channel and watch Paul Jacob’s opening speech from the U.S. Conference on Initiative & Referendum.

If you haven’t already, take a look at the new report out from Citizens in Charge Foundation on allegations of fraud in the initiative & referendum process around the country. The results might surprise you.

Is the F-Word Overused? I think so.


Joan Stern penned a wonderful ”˜Poem of the Global Forum,’ entitled “Let’s Not Compromise Initiatives.” Read it here.

The U.S. Conference on Initiative & Referendum and 2010 Global Forum were a great success. Hundreds of citizens, activists, reporters, and scholars attended.