FAQ

 

I. Eligibility and requirements

1. Why submit a petition to the European Parliament?

2. Who can submit a petition?

3. What subject can your petition concern?

4. What are the specific requirements for my petition?

5. Where can I lodge a complaint on maladministration by EU institutions or Member State administrations?

6. In which language should I write my petition?

7. How do I submit a petition?

 

II. Treatment and follow-up

8. What happens with my petition after submission?

9. What action is taken in the case of inadmissible petitions?

10. What action is taken in the case of admissible petitions?

11. How often does the Committee on Petitions meet?

12. How are petitions closed?

13. Can I appeal a decision of the Petitions Committee?

14. Will my petition become public and appear on the PETI portal?

15. How will my privacy be protected?

16. Anonymised petitions - what does this mean?

 

III. Registration and submission

17. Why do I need a user account? How do I create one?

18. How do I submit a petition on PETI portal?

19. How do I search for existing petitions?

20. Can I see original petition texts?

21. I notice that my petition has been summarised. How has this been done?

22. Why do petitions not always appear on PETI portal?

23. How do I draft a petition?

24. How much time do I have to submit my petition?

25. Attachments: which file types are allowed? Are there size limits?

26. How do I submit a petition after drafting?

27. Can I add further attachments after submitting a petition?

28. Can I withdraw my petition after having submitted it?

29. How can I support a petition? What does this mean?

30. How can I see who supported my petition?

31. Why can't I support all petitions?

32. Are all petitions discussed in the meetings of the Committee on Petitions?

33. What do I need to do for my name and petition to appear on the portal?

34. What do I need to do for my petition to appear on the portal without mention of my name?

35. What are the password requirements?

36. I have forgotten my password. What should I do?

37. How can I contact the Committee on Petitions if I have a question relating my petition?

 

 

 

I. Eligibility and requirements

 

1. Why submit a petition to the European Parliament?

The right to petition the European Parliament is set out in Article 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 44 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It guarantees that any citizen of the European Union, or resident in a Member State, may, individually or in association with others, at any time submit a petition to the European Parliament on a subject which comes within the European Union's fields of activity and which affects them directly. Any legal person (for example a company, organisation or association) with its registered office in the European Union may also exercise this right of petition.

Your petition may take the form of a complaint, a request or an observation concerning problems related to the application of EU law or an appeal to the European Parliament to adopt a position on a specific matter. Your petition may therefore give the European Parliament the opportunity to call attention to any infringement of a European citizen's rights by a Member State, local authorities or other institutions.

 

2. Who can submit a petition?

You can submit a petition if you are:

  • a citizen of the European Union;
  • resident in a European Union Member State;
  • a legal person with its registered office in a European Union Member State.

You can submit your petition either individually or in association with other citizens or persons.

If your petition is signed by several natural or legal persons, the signatories can designate a representative and/or deputy representatives who will be regarded as the petitioners. If no such representatives have been designated, the first signatory or another appropriate person will be regarded as the petitioner by the European Parliament.

 

3. What subject can your petition concern?

The subject of the petition must relate to a matter which comes within the Union’s field of activity. This might for example concern:

  • your rights as a European citizen as set out in the Treaties;
  • environmental matters;
  • consumer protection;
  • free movement of persons, goods and services;
  • internal market;
  • employment issues and social policy;
  • recognition of professional qualifications;
  • other problems related to the implementation of EU law.

 

4. What are the specific requirements for my petition?

Your petition should be comprehensive and include all facts relating to the issue, but should omit unnecessary detail. It should be written clearly and legibly and may be accompanied by a summary. It should not contain offensive or obscene language.

For a petition to be admissible, you must be a citizen/resident or, in the case of a legal person, have your registered office in a Member State, the issues raised in the petition must come within the European Union’s fields of activity and must also affect you directly.

Petitions written illegibly or lacking clarity will be declared inadmissible.

Please also note that the European Parliament cannot overturn decisions taken by the competent authorities of Member States. The European Parliament is not a judicial body and is not empowered to carry out legal investigations, hand down judgments or overturn judgments of Member State courts of law.

Requests for information are not dealt with by the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament, nor are general comments on EU policy.

 

5. Where can I lodge a complaint on maladministration by EU institutions or Member State administrations?

The European Parliament cannot investigate complaints against EU institutions or bodies. According to Article 228 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, complaints on maladministration by the institutions and bodies of the European Union should be addressed to the European Ombudsman.

Please note that the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints against national, regional or local administrations in Member States, even when the complaints are about EU matters. Many of these complaints can be addressed to national or regional ombudsmen or committees on petitions in national or regional parliaments. Contact details for all national ombudsmen are available on the European Ombudsman's website.

 

6. In which language should I write my petition?

A petition must be written in one of the official languages of the European Union.

 

7. How do I submit a petition?

Petitions can be submitted in two ways:

a. electronically through the PETI portal:

If you wish to submit a petition through this website, please read the information and instructions given under the section “How do I submit a petition on PETI portal” carefully and then complete the online form.

Please note that submissions by fax or email or means of communication other than those indicated cannot be processed.

b. by post to the following address

European Parliament

Chair of the Committee on Petitions

c/o PETI Secretariat
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Brussels

BELGIUM

If you wish to submit a petition in 'paper' form, there is no form to be filled in or standard format to be followed.

It is important to note that your petition must:

  • include your name, nationality and permanent address (in the case of a collective petition, it must include the name, nationality and permanent address of the representative or, at least, the first signatory);
  • be signed.

Please note that petitions in written form that do not contain the above information and/ or are unsigned will not be processed by the European Parliament.

Your petition may include attachments, including copies of any supporting documents you may have.

 

 

II. Treatment and follow-up

 

8. What happens with my petition after submission?

After submission of your petition to the Parliament either electronically or by post, it will firstly be registered by the European Parliament services, marked as anonymous if you request this, and assigned a petition number. You will then receive written acknowledgement of the receipt of your petition.

After registration, petitions are transmitted to the Secretariat of the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament for analysis and assessment.

The Secretariat may contact you to request additional information using the contact information provided in your petition. It is therefore important to provide up-to-date contact information. The Secretariat prepares a summary of the petition and provides recommendations to Members of the Committee on Petitions for further action.

Decisions on the admissibility or inadmissibility of petitions are taken by the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament. The Committee also makes a decision regarding placing petitions on the Committee's meeting agenda.

 

9. What action is taken in the case of inadmissible petitions?

If your petition does not fulfil the admissibility requirements (see relevant section “What are the specific requirements for my petition?”), it will be declared inadmissible by the Committee on Petitions. Petitions declared inadmissible are filed and no further action is taken. The Committee will provide you with a written notification of its decision.

Depending on the subject of your petition, the Committee on Petitions may advise you to contact a non-EU body (e.g. the European Court of Human Rights), a national authority (e.g. the national ombudsman or national petitions committees) or a judicial authority.

 

10. What action is taken in the case of admissible petitions?

If your petition fulfils the admissibility requirements, it will be declared admissible by the Committee on Petitions, which will then decide what type of action should be taken according to Article 216 of the Parliament's Rules of Procedure.

Depending on the circumstances, the Committee on Petitions may:

  • ask the European Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation on your petition and provide information regarding compliance with relevant EU legislation;
  • refer your petition to other European Parliament committees for information or further action (a committee might, for example, take account of a petition in its legislative activities):
  • in some exceptional cases, prepare and submit a full report to be voted on by the European Parliament in plenary, or conduct a fact-finding visit to the country or region concerned and issue a report containing its observations and recommendations;
  • take any other action considered appropriate to try to resolve an issue or deliver a suitable response to your petition.

When your rights as a citizen or as a business have been breached by public authorities in another Member State, the Committee on Petitions can recommend that you contact SOLVIT - an online service provided by the national administration in each EU country. The Committee on Petitions does not forward petitions directly to SOLVIT as it should be your choice whether or not to make use of this option.

Whatever is decided, the Committee on Petitions will inform you as soon as possible in writing after the decision has been made.

 

11. How often does the Committee on Petitions meet?

Meetings of the Committee on Petitions take place every month, as a rule, except during the month of August when Parliament is in recess. The Committee is assisted in its work by a permanent Secretariat, which manages the petitions process, has an advisory role and prepares the Committee meetings.

Meeting agendas are published on the Committee's website. Please note that not all petitions are discussed in public and placed on meeting agendas.

Meetings of the Committee on Petitions are held in public and you may be invited to attend when your petition is discussed.

The Committee on Petitions places importance on the transparency of its meetings, which are web-streamed.

 

12. How are petitions closed?

Your petition may be closed at various stages of the procedure.

a. after a decision on admissibility is taken by the Committee;

 b. after discussion in the Committee meeting; the Committee may decide after consideration of a petition that the case has been sufficiently discussed and researched;

c. when the Committee decides that no further action can be taken on your petition, the petition is included for closure in a special list (the B list) of the Committee's agenda. This list is deemed to be approved at the end of the Committee meeting;

d. after a petition is withdrawn by the petitioner, or the Committee closes the petition due to a lack of response from the petitioner within a given deadline.

In all cases, you will be informed of the decision of the Committee in writing and of the reasons for the decision, and provided with relevant information and documentation where appropriate once the decision becomes available.

 

13. Can I appeal a decision of the Petitions Committee?

The European Parliament is not a court of appeal and has no investigative or sanctionary powers of its own. It is a political assembly, acts as a facilitator for citizens, and may lend political support.

If, however, new information strengthening the case of petitioners emerges, they may submit it. The Committee may consider re-opening the case.

 

14. Will my petition become public and appear on the PETI portal?

After submission, petitions are registered and are given a unique number, of which you will be informed by letter. Petitions are then summarised and submitted to the members of the Committee on Petitions for a decision on admissibility and follow-up. It is only after this decision is taken that summaries of the petitions will appear on the portal.

Petitions submitted to the European Parliament will become public documents.

Summaries of petitions are published in all official EU languages on the Petitions Portal of the European Parliament only after a decision on admissibility has been taken by the Committee on Petitions. Such summaries include the name of the petitioner (or their initials if anonymous treatment has been requested), the nationality of the petitioner, title of the petition and an outline of the issue. Following the publication of summaries on the Petitions Portal of the European Parliament, it is possible to view the status of petitions and support petitions online (please refer to section “How can I support a petition? What does this mean?”).

Please also note that the European Parliament reserves the right to neither publish nor translate certain petition summaries, such as those whose subject does not fall within the scope of the EU's fields of activity, those lacking substantial elements enabling the identification of the EU’s fields of activity, those with incoherent reasoning with an unclear link to the EU’s fields of activity or those containing hate speech.

 

15. How will my privacy be protected?

The European Parliament will respect your privacy. If, as a petitioner, you do not wish your name to be disclosed, you can choose your petition to be processed anonymously (please refer to section "Anonymised petitions - what does this mean?").

If you are submitting your petition by post, such requests must be clearly and explicitly mentioned in your petition. A petition submitted by post will be classified as anonymous if you do not ask it to be treated as fully public.

 

16. Anonymised petitions - what does this mean?

Petitions become public documents once registered, and the name of the petitioner and the contents of the petition can be published by Parliament for reasons of transparency. However, petitions are not identical in purpose and nature. Some are more private and contain sensitive personal data. Others refer to widely-known or cross-cutting issues and may have received many signatures of support, so are considered to be campaigns and are thus made public.

To adapt to these varied needs, and to the extent that the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament provide for such possibility, petitioners may request the non-disclosure of their identity. The Institution might be requested by a citizen, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, to disclose to the public the personal data concerned, in accordance with that regulation. In such a case, the European Parliament might be obliged to publicly disclose the personal data concerned.

For further information, please refer to the "Privacy Statement" at the bottom of the web page. The Committee on Petitions reserves the right to anonymise petitions on its own initiative to protect the privacy or sensitive data of third parties mentioned in petitions.

 

 

III. Registration and submission

 

17. Why do I need a user account? How do I create one?

You need to create a user account in order to be able to submit and support petitions and receive information about them. Please go to "start a petition" at the top of the page and fill in the registration form. Fields marked by an asterisk (*) are required. After clicking "register", a confirmation email will be sent to the e-mail address you provided. Click on the link included in the email or if this does not work, copy and paste the link into the address bar of your browser. Your account is now set up and you are ready to submit a petition - do not forget to log in!

 

18. How do I submit a petition on PETI portal?

After logging into your account, click on "Start a petition" and answer the introductory questions. See also the section "how do I draft a petition?"

Before drafting your own petition, we strongly advise that you search for similar petitions under "view petitions".

 

19. How do I search for existing petitions?

Searching for previously submitted petitions may save time and effort: there might already be a petition of interest to you, which you can support. You do not need to be registered or logged in to search in the petitions database.

There are two search options:

a. Quick search:

The quick search function is located at the top right hand side of the page.

The quick search function works like a conventional search engine and displays a list of petitions sorted by relevance, allowing you to search for text in the summary title and in the summary of a petition. To search for a particular phrase, use "&" as a connector between search terms, e.g. "artistic&censorship" to search for the phrase "artistic censorship".

b. Advanced search

The advanced search will produce more targeted results than the quick search as it is customisable.

To access the search form, click on "show petitions".

Advanced search

You need to select at least one parameter to display results, either by completing fields and/or using the scrollable lists available. You can search by keyword, year, status and/ or country affected. Just select one or more parameters and click on “Search”. Results will be produced by order of relevance and will contain petitions that are already published, i.e. petitions for which there has already been a decision made on their admissibility.

Combined searches are possible by selecting more than one parameter. You can also select multiple values in one search parameter, by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking to select; see for example the “status” parameter below.

Advanced search- multiple

When typing in the “Keyword” field, you can use any search term in any of the 24 official EU languages. The results produced will contain this term in the title or in the summary of the petition. Logical connectors such as AND, OR, and * are not available, nor is it possible to search for an exact phrase by using quotation marks (“_”). Should you wish to search by petition number, please enter the number in the "NNNN/YYYY" form, e.g. "2728/2013", without any spaces.

Searches by using the “Year” field will produce results according to the year that a petition was submitted and thus registered. Multiple selections are also possible by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking to select.

The “Status” field contains only two options: admissible or not admissible. Selecting “admissible” will produce petitions that are still open AND petitions that were closed AND petitions that are or are not available for support. Not admissible will produce all petitions that were found inadmissible by the Committee on Petitions, whether on merits or on procedural shortcomings.

The “Select country affected” field will allow you to search for petitions referring to one or more specific countries. It is important to keep in mind that “European Union” does not mean that a search will be performed that will refer to all EU Member States; for this, you need to select all the EU Member States (multiple selection using the Ctrl key). “European Union” will produce petitions that refer to no specific country but rather express views or requests that apply to the EU in general.

Please note that petitions are uploaded gradually following the decision on their admissibility by the Committee on Petitions.

 

20. Can I see original petition texts?

Original petition texts are not published, nor translated; only summaries of the petitions are available to the public.

 

21. I notice that my petition has been summarised. How has this been done?

After submission and registration, the Secretariat of the Committee on Petitions summarises petitions, in order to submit them to the members of the Committee on Petitions for a decision on admissibility and follow-up.

 

22. Why do petitions not always appear on PETI portal?

Petitions not yet processed, and not adopted will not appear in the search results. “Adoption” means that a decision has been taken on their admissibility.

Some petitions submitted in 2014-2016 are not made public due to different confidentiality rules in place at the moment of the lodging these petitions.

 

23. How do I draft a petition?

After logging in, click on "Start a petition" and answer the introductory questions under Step 1. Valid answers will lead you to Step 2, the new petition submission form. All information relevant to your petition is to be submitted here.

Please note that all fields are required. Write your petition in the "Text" box. The maximum length of text is 32,000 characters. Petitions containing obscenities or hate speech will not be processed.

At the moment the "Text" box supports only plain text, so your text may lose its formatting. Our staff are currently working on a solution to allow formatted text to appear in this box. Alternatively, we suggest that you submit the petition text as an attachment.

Saved drafts are not considered to be petitions; they will remain in your account until you decide to submit or delete them, and will not be processed unless submitted (see also "How can I submit a petition after drafting?").

 

24. How much time do I have to submit my petition?

The system allows sufficient time for you to draft your petition. Always keep in mind, however, that the page will timeout after 30 minutes of inactivity and any unsaved text will be lost. To prevent this from happening, we advise that you press "save draft and close" regularly and then return to the drafting page. Alternatively, draft the text of the petition separately, then copy, and paste it into the text box.

 

25. Attachments: which file types are allowed? Are there size limits?

You can add supplementary documents to your petition as attachments. Please make sure that your files are virus-free before uploading, as any uploaded file that is considered suspicious by our antivirus scanning system will not be accepted. The total maximum size for all attachments is 200 MB and for one attachment 10 MB. The file types accepted are Office documents (doc, docx, odt, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, pdf), image files (png, jpg, jpeg), browser documents (html) and media files (mp3, mpeg, mp4).

 

26. How do I submit a petition after drafting?

When you are finished drafting your petition, you have two options. You can leave your submission as a draft in your account, and once you click "Save draft and close", a list of your drafts will appear. To access your draft, click “View details” under it to see an overview.

Saved drafts are not considered to be petitions; they will remain in your account until you decide to submit or delete them and will not be processed.

You now have two choices:  To make changes to your draft, click on “Edit” in the list of drafted petitions and make the necessary changes. Do not forget to “Save draft and close” in the editing screen. Alternatively, you can submit your petition, by clicking on "Go to step 3" and "Start the petition". After submission, a confirmation email will be sent to you at the address you provided.

 

27. Can I add further attachments after submitting a petition?

Further attachments can be added at a later stage to a submitted petition. Just log into your account, click on the submitted petition and add further attachments. You can verify the upload by checking your petition page (home page -> select petition from the list -> view), where all uploaded documents appear. You can upload further documents, but you cannot see their content nor can you delete them after the upload is complete.

 

28. Can I withdraw my petition after having submitted it?

You can withdraw your petition at any time, both before and after a decision has been taken by the Committee on Petitions about its admissibility. A withdrawn petition will not be processed further and will not appear on or will be removed from the PETI portal.

Please note that if multiple similar petition texts are submitted and then withdrawn, only the last submission will be taken into account. No confirmation will be requested in case only some texts of a petition are withdrawn and not the entire petition.

 

29. How can I support a petition? What does this mean?

In the list produced after searching for a petition, click on "view" to see the summary of a petition that interests you. If you agree with a petition, you can support it by clicking on "support the petition" at the bottom the page.

If you support a petition, you do not acquire petitioner status; however, you will be entitled to receive notifications about any further developments concerning the petition. The Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament will consider all petitions submitted in accordance with its rules and the requirements of the treaties. The Committee will base its considerations and decisions only on the merits of the content of the petition, irrespective of the numbers of signatories or supporters.

The support function is only available after the petition is published on the PETI portal and until the petition is closed. The number of supporters appears both in the search results under the title of a petition and in the separate pdf file containing petition detail. A ribbon is placed next to the deadline for support in the search results to indicate the most popular (i.e. frequently supported) petitions. Please note that for reasons of third party data protection, only the number of supporters is visible under a petition (in the search results and in the pdf file).

You may lend your support to the petition and then withdraw this support for as long as the petition remains open. However, support and its withdrawal are available only once: if you withdraw your support to a petition, you will not able to support it again.

 

30. How can I see who supported my petition?

Petitioners can see how many persons supported their petitions by first finding their petition on the portal (using the “Show petitions” tab). After clicking on their petition to access the summary, one should click on the “print pdf” link at the bottom of the page, right under the summary. The number of supporters will appear there.

Due to data protection considerations, the names and other personal data of the supporters are not publicly available. Please contact peti-secretariat@europarl.europa.eu for further information.

 

31. Why can't I support all petitions?

Only petitions found to be admissible by the Committee on Petitions, marked as "available for support", will be made available for support. Inadmissible and closed petitions cannot be supported.

 

32. Are all petitions discussed in the meetings of the Committee on Petitions?

The Secretariat receives a large number of petitions each year. Most of them are processed using a written procedure. Petitions to be discussed in Committee meetings are selected based on suggestions by political groups or by the Secretariat, mainly because they would be of general interest or because publicity on their subject matter will be conducive to the resolution of the issues included in them.

 

33. What do I need to do for my name and petition to appear on the portal?

You need to make sure that you tick the option ("I agree with the publication of my name by the European Parliament for reasons of transparency ") in the confidentiality question that appears on the petition submission form. Please read the information under the option carefully. These petitions may also be considered in a public meeting of the Committee on Petitions.

If you have selected any other option and wish to change your mind, please contact us with your request at peti-secretariat@europarl.europa.eu. However, reverting to anonymity is no longer possible once a decision on admissibility has been taken. The European Parliament will make every effort to withdraw any non-anonymised information from the date of the request, but cannot accept responsibility for further publication of a petitioner’s information by third parties.

 

34. What do I need to do for my petition to appear on the portal without mention of my name?

You need to make sure that you tick the option ("I want to remain anonymous") in the confidentiality question that appears on the petition submission form. Please read the information under the option carefully.

Summaries of these petitions will be published with the petitioner's initials. They may also be considered in a public meeting of the Committee on Petitions, but the petitioner's name will not be disclosed in the meeting, nor in the meeting documentation.

If you have selected any other option and wish to change your mind, please contact us with your request at peti-secretariat@europarl.europa.eu.

 

35. What are the password requirements?

Passwords must contain at least 6 characters. For security reasons, no special characters are allowed.

 

36. I have forgotten my password. What should I do?

If you have forgotten your password, click on "Forgot password?" and answer the security questions. A new password will be sent to you by e-mail.

If you have forgotten your password and do not remember the answer to your security question, please email peti-secretariat@europarl.europa.eu for assistance, mentioning your full name, email address, browser used and the exact time that you attempted to register or login.

 

37. How can I contact the Committee on Petitions if I have a question relating my petition?

Unfortunately, we cannot answer any telephone enquiries. We can only respond to written enquiries. You can contact the Secretariat of the Committee on Petitions by sending an email to peti-secretariat@europarl.europa.eu or a fax to +32 2 2846844.

 

 
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