The aim is to get 1 million people to sign what is know as a European Citizens Initiative (ECI). This is, essentially, a citizen led petition. The following quote is from their website:
If one million citizens sign, the Commission will have to seriously consider our proposal.
Should they be successful they aim to get three measures introduced into law, namely that Ecocide shall be a crime when:
- when the ecocide happens on EU territory (including maritime territories)
- when EU companies are involved or
- when EU citizens (that might be working for non-European companies) are involved.
What this bold plan shows, is an increasing recognition that the problems we face cannot be solved by individual nations acting alone. The question then, is whether even the EU is big enough to ‘go it alone’ on this?
I certainly would like to hope so. Simpol has always said that as many strategies as possible should be used in parallel to try to solve the problems we face. To get this signed into law would be a massive step forward. It would also place renewed pressure on other nations/groups, who have thus far refused to engage with these issues.
But is it enough ultimately? I’m not so sure and here’s why.
1) By and large, the worst cases of ecocide do not happen in Europe. They happen elsewhere in the world.
2) This campaign has clearly recognised the above, hence the second point on their list – ‘when EU companies are involved’. In a globalised business world, it would not be difficult for transnational corporations to simply set up a subsidiary outside of the EU.
For example: imagine that Sustainable Forestry PLC, legally based in France, decides to set up Slash and Burn Industries LTD, legally based in Indonesia. How will it be possible to prosecute the former, for the crimes of the latter?
3) The commission will have to seriously consider our proposal: How seriously? Let’s be clear here- to get 1 million citizen signatures would be a remarkable achievement. It would also place quite some pressure on the EU.
But would that pressure be enough to counter the pressure, lobbying and threats of capital flight & job losses that would inevitably come from the corporate world? Or will the fear of these things prevent action, just as it has already done at the national level?
4) Citizen signatures – based on point 3) above, I think perhaps it will take more than signatures to get this done. Perhaps votes would be a good way. Imagine what could be achieved with a million coordinated citizen votes!
I sincerely hope that this campaign works, that the EU signs this into law and that this leads on to even greater things. I thoroughly applaud everyone involved with this campaign. It has taken a massive effort to get here, from committed people who are working tirelessly for the greater good.
All I’m saying is that, should it not work, Simpol offers the next level up from this. Simpol offers citizen led policies (just like this one) the chance to use a unique, coordinated voting strategy at the GLOBAL level.
In the meantime, I urge everyone reading this to do two things:
1) Sign the ECI here: http://www.endecocide.eu/
2) Sign up to Simpol here: http://www.simpol.org/index.php?id=12
Between us we CAN get it done!!
by Mark Horler – Simpol-UK trustee.