Choose Freedom Campaign FAQs
How old do EU citizens have to be to sign up to an initiative?
Citizens need to be 18, except if they are nationals of or residents in Austria, in which case they can be 16 (i.e. old enough to vote in European Parliament elections).
Do EU citizens need to be registered to vote to sign up to an initiative?
NO – they only need to be old enough to vote in European Parliament elections (see previous question).
Must I live in Spain in order to sign up to this initiative?
NO – the initiative is being hosted by Bremain in Spain but any EU Citizens can participate. There are a few exceptions – further details below. The rules and procedures governing the Citizens’ Initiative in relation to eligibility are determined by individual member states.
Must I be a UK citizen?
NO – any EU Citizen (national of a member state) can participate, with a few exceptions (see below).
Do EU nationals need to be resident in the country of their nationality/citizenship?
NO – EU nationals living in another EU country can sign up to an initiative but there are exceptions (see next question). Each country makes its own determination as to who is eligible to vote in a Citizens’ Initiative, and which supporting documentation in required, in accordance with Annex III – Part C of Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 on the citizens’ initiative.
I am a UK Citizen living in Europe. Can I sign up to an initiative in any EU country?
NO – the voting rules of France, Portugal, Austria, Czech Republic and Bulgaria do not permit this. UK citizens living in the EU will be governed by the rules of their country of residence. See table for more information.
Must I be a resident of the country I live in?
NO – if you are not officially a resident of the country you are currently living in, you simply sign up to the initiative as a citizen of the country of your official residence, assuming this is another EU country.
An Irish citizen that is living in Italy on a temporary basis would sign up to the initiative using Ireland as his/her official country of residence.
How do I sign up to an initiative if I live in Gibraltar?
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory, so it is part of the UK. If you are an official resident of Gibraltar, then you sign up as a UK resident.
Can non-EU nationals resident in the EU sign up to an initiative?
NO – only EU citizens (nationals of a member state) can sign up.
If a person is a national of one member state living in another member state, in which member state will his/her statement of support be counted?
Depending on the data required by these member states, this person may have the possibility to choose between these member states, bearing in mind that he/she can sign up only once for an initiative. The data which he/she provides in his/her statement of support (e.g. passport number or residence card number) will determine in which member state his/her statement of support will be counted.
An Austrian living in Estonia can either:
- Fill in the form for Estonia, providing his/her full first names, family names, address, date and place of birth and nationality – in this case, his/her statement of support will be verified and therefore counted in Estonia.
- Fill in the form for Austria, providing in addition to the above data a personal identification document number from the list accepted by Austria and available in Part C of Annex III of the Regulation (passport or identity card number) – in this case, his/her statement of support will be verified and therefore counted in Austria.
In any case, citizens are allowed to sign up to an initiative only once.
Can EU citizens resident outside the EU sign up to an initiative? In which member state will their statements of support be counted?
This depends on the member state of which they are nationals.
Depending on the requirements asked by the member states, they may or may not be able to sign up. This is because of the fact that some member states are not able to verify statements of support from their nationals living outside the EU.
For those who will have the possibility to sign up, their statement of support will be counted in their member state of nationality.
If I cannot sign up to this initiative, can I still participate in the EU passport scheme?
Signing up to this initiative is simply a system for voting in the referendum. Being ineligible to vote does not make you ineligible to participate, should the results of the campaign be successful.
Can I sign up to an initiative on a mobile phone?
While it is possible, signing up via mobile phone is not recommended as the EU Citizens’ Initiative website is not currently optimised for mobile devices. You will find it much easier to complete the form on a laptop or PC.
What information do signatories have to give in their statement of support?
The data depends on the EU member state from which they come. This is because the member states are responsible for verifying the validity of signatories’ statements of support and for certifying the number of valid statements collected in each country. The required data therefore corresponds to what the member states consider necessary to verify a statement of support.
The data required can include name, address, date and place of birth, nationality and – for several member states – a personal identification number.
Part of this information (such as full address, place or date of birth) is not required by some member states.
For full details, see the 2 models for the statement of support forms in Annex III (Parts A and B) of the Regulation on the citizens’ initiative.
As regards member states requiring a personal identification number, see Part C of Annex III for a list of documents/numbers accepted by each.
How can citizens who give their support to an initiative be sure that their personal data will not be used for any other purpose?
Online collection cannot start until organisers have had their online collection system certified by the relevant national authority.
Certification involves checking that the system meets the minimum security and technical requirements set out in Article 6 of the Regulation on the citizens’ initiative. For that purpose, the authorities have to check that the system complies with detailed technical specifications that are set out in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1179/2011, laying down technical specifications for online collection systems pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the citizens’ initiative.
This also applies when the organisers use the open source software set up by the Commission.
Can organisers keep data of signatories for further dissemination of information?
Not as part of the official statement of support form: signatories’ data may only be used for the purpose of supporting the proposed initiative, as provided in Article 12(3) of the Regulation on the citizens’ initiative. However, organisers may ask signatories for their contact details separately for the purpose of keeping them informed, provided that there is compliance with data protection legislation.
Further FAQs can be found on the European Commission – European Citizens’ Initiative Official Register: