The treaty includes plans for 'citizen's initiatives', which would allow people and organisations to propose legislation to the commission if they gather a million signatures from a "significant number" of member states. The commission will not be obliged to adopt the proposals, but must consider them.
Oliver Henman, European and international officer at the NCVO, said it was yet to be settled how the initiatives would work. "It is an opportunity to shape the agenda," he said.
The treaty, which receives its second reading in the House of Commons next Monday, could be ratified by all 25 member states by the end of the year. Voluntary groups from Europe say the treaty promotes the aims of the sector (Third Sector Online, 14 December).