ECI : One year later, time to take stock

ECI : One year later, time to take stock

365 days. 27 countries. More than 1 million 400,000 citizens and YOU !

1 September 2022

Pro Anima participated in this successful collective initiative. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find the results of all the actions carried out.

A unifying initiative

365 days. 27 countries. More than 10 million animals used in laboratories in Europe and more than 1 million 400,000 citizens and YOU !

The Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics/End Animal Testing ECI was launched in August 2021 by animal protection organisations Cruelty Free Europe, PETA, Eurogroup For Animals, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiment and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, supported by global beauty and personal care companies, The Body Shop and Dove, and actively promoted by a coalition of groups and campaigners from every corner of Europe.

This is the first time in history that this number of European organisations has come together for animals in laboratories.

We campaigned to reach one million signatures whose objective is to oblige the European Commission to respect the ban on animal testing for cosmetics but also more largely to modernize science in Europe especially with non-animal methods and research.

As a reminder, the European Union banned the testing of cosmetic products on animals in 2004, ended the testing of cosmetic ingredients in 2009 and banned the sale of all cosmetic products tested on animals in 2013.

This historic ban is unfortunately under threat. Indeed, ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) has proposed new animal testing for ingredients then safely used by consumers and handled in factories for many years, including those used in cosmetics.

What would that lead to ?

Millions of animals subjected to cruel and unnecessary testing and a real threat to progress towards banning cosmetics from animal testing worldwide by 2023.

Strong objectives are needed to guarantee more safety and reliability for humans and put an end to animal suffering in research

Modern, relevant and reliable alternative methods for humans and using no animals exist.

This European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has 3 clear objectives :

  • Guarantee and strengthen the ban on animal testing for cosmetics : Initiate legislative change to ensure consumer, worker and environmental protection for all cosmetic ingredients without testing on animals for any purpose or time.
  • Reform EU chemicals regulations : Ensure the protection of human health and the environment by managing chemicals without adding new animal testing requirements.
  • Modernizing science in the EU : Commit to a legislative proposal establishing a roadmap for the phasing out of all animal testing in the EU before the end of the current legislature.

It should be remembered that in France, 78% of French people are in favor of the closure of dog and cat farms intended for laboratories, and 76% of French people are in favor of the public authorities undertaking to encourage the development of alternative methods to ‘animal experimentation.

Sondage IFOP – Fondation Brigitte Bardot – Februrary 2022.

ECI in a few key dates and key personalities

Let’s take a look back at a few dates on the enthusiasm of European citizens for this initiative :

  • August 31, 2021 : collective launch of the ICE, start date for collecting signatures.
  • March 15, 2022 : France exceeds the minimum signature threshold required of it, namely 55,695 signatures !
  • April 21, 2022 : the initiative collected a total of 500,000 signatures.
  • July 6, 2022 : 700,000 signatures were reached.
  • July 29, 2022 : France collected 187,297 signatures (i.e. 336% of the requested threshold reached)
  • August 2, 2022 : the initiative reaches the long-awaited million signatures !

To be able to reach this million signatures, a huge amount of work has been done on/via social networks. Some of the NGOs, including Pro Anima, have called on celebrities to help us relay this common and citizen initiative.

For our part, Pro Anima would like to warmly thank :

Yoann Latouche

Yoann Latouche

  • Yoann Latouche, founder of the French Communication Agency for pets YLG, presenter of “La Touche Animale” on the media Brut, and columnist “C’est Nouveau” on “William à midi” who agreed to play the game by raising awareness through his Instagram and Facebook community on the problems of animal testing.
  • Jean-Philippe Janssens, humorist, Mareva Galenter, ex Miss France, Elsa Esnoult singer and actress, who have all shared our articles and publications in favor of the initiative on their social networks.

We do not forget to also thank the personalities who have worked with PETA :

A demanding and challenging collective work

The ECI was also a demanding task of coordination between all the NGOs throughout the year :

  • Creation and relay of visuals and publications for users of social networks.
  • Research of personalities in agreement with the values ​​of Pro Anima to raise awareness in their community about this initiative, either in the form of a video, or in direct speech or in the form of an article.
  • Hundreds of stories (very short format videos or images published by a user on a social network and visible for a limited time) and posts (messages posted on social networks to disseminate information) with the link leading to the ICE to sign.
  • Every week in August : every Wednesday from 10 a.m., a different visual was posted, accompanied by a caption to continue to encourage people to sign and share the initiative.

All of this would not have been possible without you !

We would like to thank :

  • You and all the citizens who signed and shared this initiative.
  • All partner associations

And now, what is the final number ?

On August 31, 2022, the initiative has collected 1,413,383 signatures.

This is not the official final count since we have to pass the validation period which will take place in the next three months. This is the period during which the official verification and validation of each signature by each EU Member State will be carried out.

However, it is historic. Very few ECIs succeed — to date, only six out of a total of 90 registered ECIs have reached one million signatures and four others have successfully passed the validation stage. When more than one million signatures have been validated, the European Commission is required to carefully examine the initiative.