On the first of April 2012 the European Citizens' Initiative was finally launched, after years of negotiations between the European institutions. For the first time, citizens could directly influence European decision-making, at least that was the idea. Unfortunately, the ECI had to deal with many hurdles - very high quora, many technical problems with the online signature software and some initiatives' registration were refused. Nearly two years after the launch, some of these problems have been solved, but many remain. In our presentation, we will go through the history of the ECI, describe the modifications civil society managed to force upon legislators to improve the ECI, future modifications necessary for a truly empowering instrument and other ways citizens can directly influence European decision-making.