The citizens’ initiative gives citizens new possibilities to influence public policy. It enhances direct democracy and supports civic activity, thus strengthening a civil society, where different population groups participate and influence the development of society. The citizens’ initiative enables citizens to exert influence at either a state level or across the entire European Union.
The Citizens’ Initiative Act entered into force on 1 March 2012. The new law means that a minimum of 50,000 Finnish citizens of voting age can submit a proposal for legislation to the Parliament of Finland.
The EU Regulation entered into force on 1 April 2012. Pursuant to the Regulation, at least one million citizens from at least one quarter of all EU member states are be able to call on the European Commission to propose legislation on matters where it is competent.
Information about persons signing citizens’ initiatives in Finland must be submitted to the Population Register Centre, which will certify the information by comparing it to the data in the Population Information System.