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Europe Calling “The European Citizens’ Initiative(s): Victims of Big Meat?”

11.January 20:00 - 21:30

Recording / Slides download: Kikou | Holland | Berg

Dear friends,

1.4 million. That’s how many EU citizens have signed the European Citizens’ Initiative “End the Cage Age”. In doing so, they have backed the demand to end the agonising cage farming of farm animals in the EU. 180 million chickens, 112 million rabbits, 40 million ducks and geese, 10 million pigs and 1.2 million calves are still caged in the EU today.

After the citizens’ initiative was finalised in 2019, a large majority of the European Parliament and the EU Commission also backed it. For the first time ever, the EU Commission committed to implementing the demands of the citizens’ initiative. An unprecedented success for direct democracy in the EU.

But then in September 2023 came the U-turn: the EU Commission put legislation ready for signature to implement the citizens’ initiative on hold indefinitely – following a massive campaign by the meat industry.

The EU Commission has caved in to lobbying pressure from the meat industry and at the same time dealt a serious blow to direct citizen participation in Europe. At a time when right-wing populists are gaining strength and dissatisfaction with politics is on the rise, this sends a fatal signal to citizens and is dangerous for our democracy.

In our next Europe Calling, in cooperation with the ECI Campaign and part of our series “The EU of the Future”, we want to look at these events and ask what this means for the future of citizen participation in Europe.

Our guests are:

  • Nina Holland, researcher and activist at the NGO “Corporate Europe Observatory”.
  • James Kanter, award-winning journalist and founder and editor of the EUScream podcast
  • Olga Kikou, Head of the EU office of Compassion in World Farming and representative  of the Citizens’ Committee of the “End the Cage Age” European Citizen Initiative.
  • Carsten Berg,  Director of The ECI Campaign, an NGO supporting and campaigning for the European Citizens’ Initiative
  • Thomas Hieber, Attorney of the Citizens’ Committee of “End the Cage Age”
  • A representative of the EU Commission (requested)

Date: Thursday, 11 January 2024, 20:00 – 21:30h CET

This webinar is simultaneously interpreted into German and English.

Be there yourself and invite others.

With European greetings,

Maximilian Fries and everyone at Europe Calling e.V.


20:00 - 21:30