Why do local petitions need more signatures than the election of the mayor?

Why do local petitions need more signatures than the election of the mayor?

Aug 9, 2022
Volt is trying to gather 15,000 voters on a mailing list and then launch petitions.
Volt Lille - Les pétitions locales

> A local petition requires the signatures of 20% of the electorate, i.e. about 25,000 signatures, much more than to elect the mayor of Lille.

> The city has not yet adopted the recent reduction to 10% of the electorate.

> Volt is trying to gather 15,000 voters on a mailing list and then launch petitions.

Lille, 9th of August, 2022

There are only a few days left to sign the petition to turn the Grand'Place into a pedestrian zone. And although this was a key issue during the municipal elections, the petition on the city's website has so far only gathered 160 signatures, far from the necessary target of around 25,000 signatures for the city to decide whether or not to add the issue to the city council's agenda. The example of the recent consultation on the Avenue de Peuple Belge can serve as a reference for the effort needed to take the step: 128,000 letters sent, 30 information stands, 12 exhibitions for a total of 14,596 votes.

Considering these figures, including in terms of cost, Volt Lille asks why the city of Lille has not yet adopted the recent legislation to reduce the votes needed for local petitions from 20% (i.e. 25,000 signatures) to 10% (about 12,500 signatures). Although this is not within the remit of a municipality, we also ask why local petitions are not based on active voters, rather than taking an absolute number which is completely unrealistic without much more reasonable thresholds (e.g. 1% ~ 2,500 signatures).

Volt Lille has been following and supporting the campaign for the pedestrianisation of the Grand'Place. To give local petitions a real chance of success, we are launching www.gendalille.fr - an initiative to build a list of 15,000 registered subscribers on the electoral rolls of Lille, Lomme and Hellemmes. Once this threshold is reached, which will certainly take time, Volt will ask subscribers to sign the local petitions submitted.

Sven Franck, head of Volt Lille: "If we are serious about more citizen participation and general engagement in politics, why do we make participation almost impossible? Engaged and active citizens should also put "uncomfortable" issues on the agenda of the city council by using local petitions. A healthy democracy needs this kind of debate, especially at local level. The alternative is disengagement and abstention which undermines the foundations of our democracy, as citizens no longer feel represented and lack the means to make their case heard."

About Volt 

As the first truly pan-European party, Volt is committed to reforming the European Union so that global challenges can be solved in a pan-European way. A federal, functioning European republic must be the basis. Volt's vision: a progressive Europe with an inclusive society, a climate-friendly economy, an adaptable education system and self-determined digitalisation.

Volt is convinced that only through the democratic participation of all European citizens can Europe prepare for a sustainable, economically strong and socially just future. This is why Volt acts at all levels - from local to European, as a movement and as a party. The movement gives all European citizens a voice and the opportunity to engage politically from within society. Today, Volt is present all over Europe: Thousands of people of all ages and professions are engaged in 30 European countries with teams in hundreds of cities.

For interview requests or further information, please contact us at the following address

Contact

Eric Galéra - Responsible for the Hauts-de-France region
Mail : eric.galera@volteuropa.org 

Sven Franck - Responsible for Lille
Mail : sven.franck@volteuropa.org   

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