The Lisbon Treaty has introduced a new Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union (TUE) that creates a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) allowing one million citizens from a significant number of member states to invite the European Commission to submit a proposal within the framework of its powers. The ECI fully entered into force on 1 June 2012 when all the elements established by Regulation 211/2011 were ready and the first initiatives were registered. This is thus an ideal time to analyse the significance of the ECI as an example of a transnational participatory democracy mechanism. Article 11 of the TUE introduces different forms of citizens' participation. The first paragraph mandates EU institutions to encourage the expression of civil society at European level. Paragraph 2 instructs EU institutions to establish regular relations with representative associations and civil society, whereas paragraph 3 orders the Commission (not all institutions) to consult 'parties concerned' in the process of making legislation. The ECI is only introduced in paragraph 4 of the article.