Petitions in Luxembourg are gaining popularity

The 13 members of the Committee on Petitions have more and more work on the table. Since October 2018, during their eleven meetings, 180 petitions have already been processed. 130 of them were released for voting, 27 others were put online after a review. That's what Nancy Arendt, Chair of the Commission, and Fernand Etgen, Chamber President said Thursday.

"There is clearly a new passion for petitions," said Arendt. On average, 30 petitions are written each month. Since the end of October, six texts have reached the threshold of 4500 signatures, which has given rise to a public debate in Parliament. The topics are very different: hunting, banking fees or smoking on the terrace. The taxation of singles will be discussed soon.

"Revitalization of democracy"

"Globally, mobility, health – especially alternative medicines – and animal welfare are the best performers," Arendt said. When filing an application, the committee reviews the technical data, such as the applicant's age. In the end, the biggest hurdle, but still, if enough votes were collected. "Sometimes interesting topics do not find their audience. But it is quite possible that they are still taken up, for example through parliamentary questions, "said Arendt, who has an obvious, but crucial, advice: she advises candidates not to publish their text at mid-summer, because it would be particularly difficult to mobilize citizens.

The online petition system launched in 2014 has helped "revive democracy," said Fernand Etgen, chairman of the chamber. "Citizens raise issues sometimes forgotten by MPs." He warmly welcomes this new opportunity to speak. Thus, the Chamber of Deputies is better connected to the will of the citizens.

(Joseph Gaulier / The essential)

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