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Petitions to the European Parliament: How does it work?

What is the procedure for submitting a petition to the European Parliament? Citizens are broadly aware of their right to submit a petition, however they often request further information about the procedure to send the petition and on the way the petitions are afterwards discussed in the EP Committee.

Right of petition

Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, have the right to address, individually or in association with other citizens or persons, a petition to the European Parliament on a matter which comes within the Union’s fields of activity and which affects him, her or it directly (Art. 227 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Rule 215 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament).

How to submit a petition – electronically or in ‘paper’ form

Businessman is using tablet pc and selecting petition.

WrightStudio / Fotolia

The Petitions Portal is a tool designed to allow citizens to submit petitions electronically and provide information about petitions already received.  Lodging a petition requires registration, i.e. creation of a user account.

The petition must be written in one of the official languages of the European Union.

The form to send a petition electronically is available on the ‘Start a petition’ tab of the petitions portal.

The option to submit a petition in ‘paper’ form is also available, and there is no form to be filled in or standard format to be followed.

However, each petition must be signed and bear the name, nationality and permanent address (in the case of a group petition, it must bear the name, nationality and permanent address of the presenter or, at least, the first signatory). Attachments may also be included, as well as copies of any supporting documents.

The petition should be sent to:

Chair of the Committee on Petitions

European Parliament


Confidentiality of petitions

Petitions, once registered, shall become public documents, and the name of the petitioner and the contents of the petition may be published by Parliament for reasons of transparency.

However, the petitioner may request that his or her name be withheld in order to protect his or her privacy, in which case the European Parliament must comply with the request.  In order to protect rights of third parties, the European Parliament may, on its own motion or upon request by the third party concerned, anonymise a petition and/or data contained therein, if it sees fit to do so (Rule 215 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament).

Search and support petitions

The search function from the Petitions web portal is present in the tab ‘Show petitions’, and it allows citizens to see what other citizens are saying about EU-related issues. The European Parliament publishes summaries of petitions in all EU languages and information on the status of petitions. The portal also allows users to add an online support to open petitions which the members of the Petitions Committee have declared admissible. In order to start or support a petition, the citizen must register, i.e. create a user account.

Moreover, petitions may also be found on the European Parliament’s Register of Documents, which has references to documents produced or received by the European Parliament since 3 December 2001, while documents produced before this date may be requested to the Historical archives.

Committee on Petitions and examination of petitions

The petitions process is inherently open and transparent. Petitioners are informed at each stage of the petition process, and receive a letter from the Chair informing them of the outcome.

The decision on admissibility of a petition is taken by the Committee on Petitions (PETI), which decide what type of action should then follow, according to the Rules of Procedure (Rule 216).

Further information

The Committee on Petitions may be contacted at the following e-mail address:

More details on petitions are also available on the FAQ from the Petitions portal.

Do you have any questions on this issue or another European Parliament related concern? Please use our web form. You write, we answer.

About Ask EP

The Citizens' Enquiries Unit provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. You ask, we answer.


One thought on “Petitions to the European Parliament: How does it work?

  1. please European Union help us let this people release the opposition upnd leader Mr Hakainde Hichilema and let them reconcile so that our country be at peace again as you know that our country is a peace country,Zambia is a developing country so let this leader not focus in politics only but we want to see development in here,the only way we can develop is working together,If there are not going to release the opposition leader the country will be divided, so the only way is just free him ,please help us in here we need you,thank you.

    Posted by jonah kayaba | May 20, 2017, 16:46

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