Die Europäische Bürgerinitiative

Seit 2012 besteht für EU-Bürger/innen die Möglichkeit, sich mit einer Europäischen Bürgerinitiative direkt an die Europäische Kommission zu wenden um eine konkrete Gesetzesänderung vorzuschlagen.

Dazu muss zunächst ein Bürgerausschuss gegründet werden, welcher aus mindestens sieben Mitgliedern* aus mindestens sieben verschiedenen EU-Staaten besteht. Nach erfolgreicher Prüfung der Initiative durch die Europäische Kommission hat der Bürgerausschuss ein Jahr Zeit, um Unterschriften zu sammeln.

Insgesamt müssen mindestens eine Millionen Unterschriften zusammenkommen, zudem muss die Mindestanzahl an Unterschriften in mindestens einem Viertel der EU-Staaten erreicht werden, bei derzeitigem Stand also sieben EU-Staaten[1]. Die benötigte Mindestanzahl beträgt etwa das 750-fache der Anzahl der Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlamentes dieses Staates – in Deutschland sind es so z.B. 72.000 Unterschriften.

Die Mindestanzahl an Unterschriften, die für jeden EU-Staat benötigt werden, lässt sich im Amtlichen Register der Europäischen Kommission nachlesen[2]. Es kann sowohl schriftlich als auch online unterzeichnet werden.

Wird die benötigte Anzahl an Unterschriften innerhalb des Zeitraums erreicht, so besteht für die Europäische Kommission Anhörungspflicht und der Bürgerausschuss kann seine Initiative bei einer öffentlichen Anhörung im Europäischen Parlament vorstellen. Innerhalb von drei Monaten wird die Europäische Kommission anschließend eine Antwort über das weitere Vorgehen geben. Dies führt im besten Fall zu einer Annahme des Vorschlages und einer Gesetzesänderung. Allerdings kann die Bürgerinitiative auch von der Europäischen Kommission abgelehnt werden, sofern die Gründe dafür erläutert werden.

In der Europäischen Bürgerinitiative sehen wir unsere Chance, die Erweiterung der “Fins Naturally Attached”-Verordnung in der Europäischen Union durchzusetzen. Dafür benötigen wir zahlreiche Unterstützer in der gesamten EU.

*Mindestwahlalter (i.d.R. 18 Jahre, Österreich und Malta 16 Jahre, Griechenland 17 Jahre) muss erreicht sein und darf nicht Mitglied der Europäischen Kommission sein. Ein Eintrag im Wahlregister ist nicht erforderlich.

[1] Verordnung (EU) Nr. 211/2011 des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates vom 16. Februar 2011 über die Bürgerinitiative, 2011
[2] Amtliches Register der Europäischen Kommission zur Europäischen Bürgerinitiative, https://ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/signatories, 2019

Initiatoren der EU-Bürgerinitiative



Nils Kluger
Nationality: German


Alexander Hendrik Cornelissen
Nationality: Dutch

Luis Miguel Fonseca Alves

Katrien Vandevelde

Monica Tenorio de Figueiredo Gabell

Fernando Frias Reis

Frédéric Xavier Le Manach

Julian Engel
United Kingdom

Veerle Gishlain Roelandt

Chrysoula Gkoumpili

Sabine Reinstaller

Fabienne Rossier

Alexandar Dourchev

Andrew Mark Griffiths
United Kingdom

Initiators #stopfinningEU

“With this initiative we as citizens have the chance to speak out against illegal finning and catching of sharks purely for their fins. The trading of fins from Europe must stop!”

Nils is a shark conservation activist at Stop Finning Deutschland and scuba diving instructor. He has been diving with sharks around the world and experienced both their beauty and meaning for marine ecosystems as well as the threats humans pose to their existence.

Dr. Nils Kluger

Germany, Spokesperson

“Sharks are the most underappreciated animals in the oceans, sheer perfection and beauty. The importance of sharks in the eco-system is fundamental in the survival of the oceans; we need to step up our measures to protect sharks.”

Alex is the CEO of Sea Shepherd Global. Through his work for Sea Shepherd he has witnessed first hand the devastating effects of shark fishing on shark populations worldwide. He has also had the privilege to dive with sharks in many remote areas.

Alex Cornelissen

Netherlands, Substitute Spokesperson

„Many of these species have local or global protections and this petition and the legislation it represents would help really enforce measures put in place to preserve these rapidly disappearing sharks“.

Andrew is a marine biologist and university lecturer in the UK. Some of his recent research has shown that endangered sharks are on sale in the EU, including shark fins from beautiful animals such as hammerhead and mako sharks.

Griffiths_Andrew– Andrew Griffith, United Kingdom

Julian Engel is a marine ecologist and fisheries analyst, who has worked in the context of illegal fishing in Honduras, West Africa and South-East-Asia. His work incorporates not only the ecosystem but also the integration of socioeconomics in sustainability.

As the co-founder of the NGO Stop Finning, he creates advocacy on the crucial role that sharks play in healthy ecosystems and the sustainability of our oceans.

Julian_EngelJulian Engel, Great Britain

„Shark numbers all over the world have been decreasing for decades. Most species take many years to reach sexual maturity and reproduce, making these animals particularly vulnerable to overfishing. For many years now the EU has dismissed scientists’ warnings and recommendations, but that has to stop. I joined this initiative because sharks need our help and I believe stopping the fin trade is a step in the right direction. Together, we can do it!“

Luís Alves has an MSc in Applied Biotechnology and is a biology PhD candidate at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. His research is focused on the study of the effects of pollution in sharks found in Portuguese waters. He has also worked as a fisheries observer and is the current president of the Portuguese Association for the Study and Conservation of Elasmobranchs (APECE).

Luis-Alves– Luís Alves, Portugal

„Since a couple of decades, and especially due to an increased market demand for shark fins, overfishing and many other human activities, many sharks species have been driven to the rim of extinction. I believe we all must do our best to create awareness as of the importance of sharks for the balance of all marine biodiversity and, consequently for the entire planet.”

Conservationist, environmentalist, shark expert, specialised in shark diver training and in shark advocation. Fernando Frias Reis is the Founder and Executive Director of the Sharks Educational Institute which he founded in 2016.

Fernando-Reis– Fernando Reis, Spain

Chrysoula is a molecular biologist who is based at the Fisheries Research Institute (FRI), Nea Peramos, Greece. Dr. Gubili gained her PhD in the population genetics of the Great White in 2009 and has a very longstanding interest in chondrichthyan biology.

She is a newly appointed researcher at the FRI and she has been recently appointed as head of the “Elasmobranch Database” of the Greek National Program of Data Collection in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sectors for the Northern Aegean Sea.

Gubili_Chrysoula– Dr. Chrysoula Gubili, Greece

Monica is in the process of finishing her Master’s in Aquatic Ecology at Lund University (Sweden) and has mainly focused on marine environments.

She is fascinated by the ocean and all the life found within. She supports the citizens’ initiative because sharks are misunderstood and feared, but in truth they are of the utmost importance to marine life and ecosystems, and they should not disappear simply because humans are greedy.

Monica-GabellMonica Gabell, Sweden

Veerle is a diver, ocean lover and sharks are on top of her bucket-encounter-list: Diving is her religion, the ocean her church and sharks are the chief priests.

She has been working with many organizations (Shark Angels, Sea Save Foundation and others) and has her own: The Global Shark Conservation Initiative, which has initiated many letter campaigns to authorities, supermarkets and restaurants in order to get more protection for sharks. This campaign is important to her, as we should do everything within our power to stop sharks from being slaughtered at today’s rate.

Veerle Roelandt– Veerle Roelandt, Italy

Katrien Vandevelde is a passionate diver with the soul of an activist.

Over the last 15 years she has worked as a board member, a communications officer and a volunteer for multiple NGO’s, where she initiated and implemented, or assisted in the execution of grassroots projects. Then, along with her husband, she founded BlueShark Conservation, an NGO focussed on raising awareness and on assisting international NGO’s during their shark or ocean conservation campaigns.

Katrien-Vandevelde– Katrien Vandevelde, Belgium