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ECI Online Collection Software (OCS)

2.51/5 | 35 votes

Minutes of the meeting with ECI organisers, 13/06/2012, 15:00-17:00

Date/Time of Meeting: 13/06/2012, 15:00-17:00

Location of Meeting: European Commission, Berlaymont (BERL S3)




ECI “Water and sanitation are a human right !”

Mr Jerry van den Berge, Policy officer EPSU

Mr Xavier Dutoit, IT consultant


ECI “EU Directive on Dairy Cow Welfare”

Ms Annamaria Pisapia

Ms Annabel Davis

Mr Florian Engel


ECI “Fraternité 2020”

Mr Luca Copetti

Mr Louis Papaemmanouil

ECI “Let me vote”

Mr Alain Brun


European Commision

Ms ARISTIMUNO PEREZ Natalia (Head of Unit DIGIT B1), Chair

Mr DUSA Adrian (DIGIT)

Mr KROENER Ulrich (HR)


Mr DOBRE Cristian (DIGIT)

Ms RIVE Charlotte (SG)




Opening, presentation of the participants and adoption of draft agenda

The meeting was chaired by Natalia ARISTIMUNO PEREZ who welcomed the organisers and proposed on open and constructive discussion. The agenda was adopted.


State of play

Presentation of the state of play, from the European Commission perspective by Natalia Aristimuño Perez.


ECI organisers have then described the problems they encounter, which can be summarized in the following points:


  1. Cost: Setting-up and running an online collection system complying with the technical specifications set out in the implementing regulation is too costly

for a group of seven citizens (and even for NGOs as several of the on-going initiatives are supported by important NGOs).

The technical specifications requires a risk assessment to be performed and this is also costly.

Once the risk assessment is done and initiative registered by EC, the organisers must have their system certified by the Member State where the system is hosted.

At this stage, most of the Member State authorities do not have yet any established practices as regards the certification procedure which make it more difficult to understand for the organisers what information they are to provide.


2.   Deadline: Given this initial system setup cost and the risk of having the proposed initiative rejected, the ECI organisers cannot start setting-up the system before they have the proposed initiative registered by the Commission.

Setting-up the system and asking its certification after the registration of the proposed initiative means organisers lose at least one month time from the legal 12-month collection period, which is not acceptable for ECI organisers.

As a result, the organisers of the already registered initiatives want the Commission to extend the 12 months deadline for the collection of the statement of support, the collection period should start only after they have obtained the certification of their OCSs. This issue will most probably also concern the organisers of future initiatives.


3.   Online collection software, points raised by organisers:

  1. Accessibility: DIGIT committed to put online a version compliant with the accessibility guidelines in the coming days.
  2. Customisation/campaign needs: The organisers would wish the software to be adapted to campaign needs and be easily customised. Today this is not in the agreed scope of the online collection tool,

the software offers only the collection of statement of support, as requested by the Regulation 211/2011. Any improvements could/should be added through the development community being created around OCS.

  1. Risk assessment: ECI organisers ask for recommendations on the security processes to be applied (outside the software part) accompanied with the corresponding risk assessment that could be used by organisers as an example.
  2. Communication/working methods: The participants, in particular the IT consultants, asked DIGIT to improve their processes, being more open and transparent as regards the development,

support and documentation on the software given its open source nature and to react quicker on the forum dedicated to the software.


Except point 3.a where concrete solution is already being put in place and point 3.d for which DIGIT committed to advance in this direction, the Commission representatives announced organisers that they would

come back to them, once they have analysed the measures which can be proposed, in the best possible delays.


Minutes prepared by

Cristian Dobre







ECI Online Collection Software (OCS)
digit eci


Andreas Hennings
Posted by Andreas Hennings on August 02, 2012 at 17:17


I think the ideal way would be if the organizer can choose freely when to start the one-year period, so it can be started when everything is in place:

  • The technical certification / approval by the national authorities
  • The system being successfully installed and working

Otherwise it can happen that a further delay is caused, if the organizers run into technical difficulties after successful certification.

Andreas Hennings
Posted by Andreas Hennings on August 02, 2012 at 17:24

"Online collection software"

It would have helped a lot to have a specific setup tutorial for the typical Linux + Glassfish + MySQL situation. I really had some difficulties to correctly configure Glassfish, and the error logs were not very helpful.

The existing documentation does not go into great detail about the deployment and configuration.

I think it has to be assumed that a lot of those who want to install the OCS, do not use Java + Glassfish as their primary tool for making websites.

One step towards this could be a wiki, where we can share our experience..

(although it would be great to have this information provided by the developers OCS)

Francisco Gimeno
Posted by Francisco Gimeno on January 22, 2013 at 9:51
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