The collection of signatures for the European Citizens’ Initiative of the Szekler National Council (SZNT) will resume on Saturday, Balázs Izsák, head of the SZNT said in an interview on Friday to public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió. The SZNT’s petition is aimed at ensuring European Union protection for ethnic regions across the bloc.
After the EU’s final approval, the drive to collect signatures in support of the SZNT’s initiative continues. Citizens of all European Union member states will be able to add their signatures when the relevant website is up and running on Saturday, Izsák said. Support for the initiative can be registered in the next three and a half months, he added. The online collection of supporters will be complemented by the work of volunteers who will soon start collecting physical signatures.
EU Citizens’ Initiative Deadline Extended
The initiative’s success largely depends on gaining broad European legitimacy, he said, noting that at least one million signatures are needed from across 15-20 countries. Whereas the organizers have already collected well above the minimum number, they have not yet achieved this in enough countries.
Specifically, they are aiming to collect more signatures in Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, Lithuania, Sweden, Estonia, and Latvia. The initiative still needs significantly more signatures from at least four more countries in order for it to reach the required threshold of seven member states.
Why Would National Regions Benefit Europe?
Izsák said citizens’ initiatives in the EU have not gained popularity, with only six out of 74 citizens’ initiatives over the past eight years gathering the required one million signatures.
He insisted that the EU’s aim of opening up its affairs to citizens through direct democracy has failed.
Featured photo illustration by Márton Mónus/MTI.