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EU citizens petition on animal welfare, embryo research

Calls for better policy on animal welfare, embryo research and climate policy have been registered under the European Citizens’ Initiative, a system that forces the EU to develops laws on ideas backed by one million people.

So far, ten initiatives have been registered under the scheme launched in April, the European Parliament said in a statement released on 16 August.

Animal rights organisation Stop Vivisection has called for a phase out of the use of animals in scientific research and introduction of compulsory requirements for the use of biomedical and toxicological data “directly relevant for the human species”.

Pro-life organisations from seven member states have combined under the name One of Us to support a ban on “the financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the areas of research, development aid and public health”.

An unidentified group has presented a petition calling for suspension of the 2009 EU Climate and Energy Package until a climate agreement is signed by China, the United States and India. The main objective of the proposal is to “stop EU climate policy wasting hundreds of billions of euros on ineffective unilateral action on the climate at a time of economic crisis”, according to the committee.

A proposal for a single European communication tariff, introducing one all-inclusive, flat-rate charge for mobile phone customers across the EU has also been suggested to end debate about international roaming charges.

Other issues for which signatures are being gathered include waste management, common education goals and voting rights for EU citizens living in other member states.

One initiative, on the welfare of dairy cows, was withdrawn by organisers in July.

Initiatives backed by at least one million citizens from seven member states within 12 months of registration will be considered by the European Commission, which will either develop a legislative proposal or provide justification for rejection of the issue.