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According to the main element of the legal admissibility test of the European Citizens’ Initiative (‘ECI’) set out in Regulation 211/2011, a proposed ECI cannot collect signatures of support if it ‘manifestly falls outside the framework of the Commission’s powers to submit a proposal for a legal act of the Union for the purpose of implementing the Treaties’. This contribution argues that the interpretation and application of the ECI legal admissibility test has developed since the early years of the ECI’s operation, largely due to the CJEU’s intervention in ECI-cases. It analyses the procedural and substantive changes to the test in light of the relevant litigation and the ongoing reform of the ECI’s legal framework. It illustrates that certain contested procedural aspects of the ECI legal admissibility test have been resolved, while the scope of the ECI has been extended to allow Initiatives in the field of international agreements. The article explores the effects of these developments on current and future ECI practice, including the possibility to bring an ECI in the context of the EU-UK Brexit negotiations.
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