European Citizens' Initiative - We Are Welcoming Europe Campaign

Our values are at risk: Let’s reclaim a welcoming Europe!

The petition is finished, you can read more about its outcomes here

Since our governments are struggling to handle migration, we – European citizens, students, volunteers, families, unions and communities of faith from all walks of life – have stepped in to help.

#WelcomingEurope has been registered by the European Commission on 14 February 2018. Since than, we have 1 year to collect 1 million signatures in order to demand our governments to act. See video, which explains more: 

But our right to help is being criminalised as Europeans are being arrested, fined and intimidated for simply offering humanitarian assistance to people fleeing persecution.

This is not the Europe that we want. Together we can reclaim those acts for what they are: reflecting our European and human values of community, compassion and kindness.

This is why we have joined forces to launch the first European Citizens’ Initiative to empower a #WelcomingEurope and reclaim our right to help. Through this direct democracy tool, we can compel the European Commission and Parliament to respond to our demands.

We ask the European Commission to:
  • Ban the criminalisation of solidarity in member states
  • Support European citizens who want to offer safety to people fleeing persecution
  • Guarantee effective access to justice to all victims of exploitation and abuse
We want:

  • Stop governments that punish volunteers and civil society organisations for offering humanitarian help or shelter for refugees.
  • Therefore we call the European Commission to amend the EU Facilitations Directive in order to ban the criminalisation of solidarity.


  • Guarantee more effective means to protect all victims of labour exploitation, crime across Europe and human rights abuses at our borders.
  • Therefore we call the European Commission to strengthen the complaints mechanism in the regulations on border guards and labour directives.
  • Support citizens who want to offer refugees a new a home and build a new life.
  • Therefore we call the European Commission to provide direct financial assistance through the budget line to citizens, local authorities and NGOs which support refugees.
Join us and sign our Citizens’ Initiative here.

What is a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)?

European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is the most visible and legally binding tool for direct democracy in Europe. If 1 million European citizens from at least seven member states sign the petition within a year, the European Commission will be obliged to hear the demands of the citizens in a formal procedure.

See the explanatory video made by European Parliament here: