Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Let's see if we can keep Permanent EU Citizenship, even if Brexit happens w @EUcitizen2017

Vote, by 23 July 2019, for Permanent European Union Citizenship - this is an EU citizens' initiative. [Campaign website]

1. Oooh! I've been a bit wary of all these Stop-or-Mitigate Brexit-themed petitions (I worry that we're diluting stuff) but this one looks more promising.

Even despite the URL I greeted it with the same suspicion, but have since searched for the URL on Twitter to see who's been tweeting about it, and Guy Verhofstadt had so - real enough for me. The petition is just over a day old (it was registered in July 2018 but voting seems to have opened only on 22nd August).

2. In the UK we regularly see people sharing petitions to Parliament, which have this banner across the top of the page.

These can be created on Parliament's website by any UK citizen - if the petition reaches 10,000 votes then Parliament must respond and if the votes reach 100,000 then Parliament will consider it for a debate. It does not necessarily mean that the thing you're petitioning for will happen though.

3. The EU Citizens' Initiative (ECI) is an EU-wide equivalent of this (I presume each member state has its own petitions site but I only know about the UK one). Any EU citizen can suggest an ECI for consideration. For an ECI to meet its threshold it requires 1,000,000 votes overall and for minimum thresholds to be reached in 7 of the member countries. Each country has its own numeric threshold depending, I presume, on the number of people in its voting population.

The UK needs 54,750 votes and so far has 19,583 (35%) - so I think we'll probably manage 100% - but Germany would need 72,000 and has only 761 (1%), or Latvia needs 6,000 and only has 12. Early days though!

4. I've no idea if it's more likely that countries with smaller thresholds (Cyprus, Estonia, Luxembourg and Malta need 4,500) will be more easily reached than countries with larger thresholds (Germany has the highest but there are a few above 40,000) or if it's more to do with which countries are most engaged. Currently the votes are (not surprisingly, given it's less than two days old!) languishing at the 1 or 2% end of things for each country but the UK is already at 36% (20,001 votes) - another few hundred have come in while I've been drafting this. It's not too surprising that UK folk are currently the most engaged.

5. Here's what the petition website looks like, and where you can find out how many votes are still needed [screenshot captured at 3pm on 23 August 2018].

Note the English (en) to the right of the above image - with the drop-down arrow you can read the page in any EU language.

Threshold status is very much not yet reached, but there are a few months to go... the images below come from the Permanent European Union Citizenship's ECI page - you need to click on the 'More info' button to bring up the extra panel. You can see all countries' responses one one page or scroll through a 'gallery'.

More countries listed on the website.

6. ...And here's what info about the initiative looks like on the main European Commission website