This are good news for ECI Organizers and European citizens. Luxembourg, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland have announced that they will reduce cumbersome data requirements for ECIs. The ECI Campaign has rallied strongly in recent years (see here, here and here) for such reforms in the ECI instrument, i.e., to simplify the signature form and eliminate ID requirements.
For the time being 18 member states currently still oblige their citizens to provide personal identification numbers when signing an ECI. Such intrusive personal data requirements are frequently unnecessary, deter support and raise privacy concerns. Even the European Data Protection Supervisor concluded that it would not be necessary to collect ID card numbers from citizens who wished to support an ECI.
The ECI Campaign thus strongly welcomes the latest developments, in particular in Luxembourg, and urges all other member states to follow this line. While it was not initially clear if these new rules could be applied to the ongoing ECIs or only to the future ECIs, Gilles Feith from the Luxembourg certification authorities has confirmed today:
“Hence OCS instances hosted by the CE in Luxembourg will be updated (if organizers wish so) as of the moment the new annexes are adopted. Paper forms of the old and new annexes will be accepted for the running initiatives.”
This means the ID-number requirement can be dropped in Luxembourg for all running ECIs, once the new annexes are adopted.
However the modification to the annexes will be done only after Croatia joins the EU on July 1st. The modifications in other countries are as follows:
- France will reduce the list of ID requirements, but add place of residence AND date of birth.
- Spain is going to remove the address and will add the NIE [the ID card for foreigners]
- The Netherlands is going to allow Dutch people living abroad to sign.
- Ireland is also reviewing its criteria.