More and more people have the impression that the EU is largely beyond the influence of its citizens. While the influence of business and industry is steadily increasing, citizens’ participation tends to be limited to their four-year choice in elections. It is understandable that people are increasingly turning away from the EU and finding their institutions corrupt. The already existing right of the European Citizens’ Initiative has hardly been invoked, and simplifications are urgently needed. The procedures have to be simplified and the bureaucratic hurdles reduced. We call for a reduction of the minimum number of signatures, an extension of the collection period and a reduction of the participation age to 16 years.