09 July 2013
European Citizens' Initiative: Application of the Precautionary Principle for Electromagnetic Waves
by Stéphanie Sanchez, Basta Mag, 5 July 2013 (translation by Meris Michaels). See original document in French here.
What can we do to get the European authorities to seriously look into the issue of application of the precautionary principle regarding electromagnetic waves? Several organizations and groups decided to launch a “European Citizens’ Initiative” (ECI), which would allow, with one million signatures from seven different countries, to put pressure on the European Commission. Stéphane Sanchez, from the French association “Sans Onde”, participated at the end of June in the setting up of a support committee for this Initiative.
Delegates from Sweden, Spain and France travelled to Madrid. Others, from Portugal, Belgium and Italy, declared their solidarity through videos and texts. Six representatives from six countries of the European Union were thus present to relay a message aimed at protecting citizens from harm, today proven, caused by electromagnetic waves. In order for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ICE) to be activated, seven citizens from seven different member countries must meet and collect one million signatures in twelve months. The European Commission would then be obliged to place the subject raised by citizens on its agenda.
Click here to view the European Manifesto in Support of the ECI, approved by the delegates at the meeting in Madrid.
For us, the demands are very simple. Our principal objective is that resolution 1815 of the Council of Europe, adopted in 2011, be entered into European law. This would allow moving forward on this public health problem, to become a veritable health scandal in the coming years. Resolution 1815 proposed to lower the power of reception imposed on citizens: it indicates that the level should be 0.6 volts per meter (V/m). In France today, this is 41 to 61 V/m, that is, 100 times the recommendation of the Council of Europe  !
Create « white zones »
Resolution 1815 also recommends application of the principle « ALARA » (as low as reasonably achievable), taking into account not only the thermal and athermic but also biological effects of emissions or radiation from electromagnetic fields.
Why do all this? In order to protect citizens! The issue of persons who suffer from electro-hypersensitivity is central in our reflection. The resolution mentions the need for special measures to protect them, creating for example “white zones”, areas not covered by wireless networks. To equip all public places with fiber-optic cables, create white zones which are not limited to out-of-the-way places in the countryside where those who cannot support the waves are living like recluses. The white zones can be entirely developed in urban areas: in public transport, hospitals, schools, habitations… It is a question of places without wifi (but with the possibility of wired connections), and in which one cannot call with a cell phone but rather with a fixed phone. A bit like what has been done with smoking, creating “non-smoking” areas.
Control placement of mobile phone antennas
Resolution 1815 also makes reference to the implementation of the Aarhus Convention, concerning the participation of citizens in decisions regarding the placement of mobile phone antennas. Actually, the operators can deploy their reception material where, when and how they like, without even having to get authorization for the work. We think this must cease. Citizens should have the right to examine decisions impacting their lives. In order for the population to have the possibility of deciding, it is necessary that they be notified of the plans for placement of antennas. For this, we would need an independent control body.
A meeting at the European Parliament is foreseen in the fall at the invitation of Euro-Deputies Michèle Rivasi and Sandrine Bélier (EELV). This meeting will gather together associations and citizens for an exchange with parliamentarians and for continuing the project. Meanwhile, we are launching an appeal to other countries to join us in the support committee of the European Citizens’ Initiative.
Stéphane Sanchez, French associaiton « Sans Onde »
Peccem (Spain) : firstname.lastname@example.org
Sans Onde (France) : email@example.com
 Extract of Resolution 1815 « set preventive thresholds for levels of long-term exposure to microwaves in all indoor areas, in accordance with the precautionary principle, not exceeding 0.6 volts per metre, and in the medium term to reduce it to 0.2 volts per metre. »
Message from Peccem (Spain) :
As a result of the Madrid meeting, we have a consensus document for the ECI. Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and Belgium have joined the ECI and we have requests for the UK and Holland. If you need more information, please contact us : Peccem (Spain): firstname.lastname@example.org No Waves (France): sans.onde @ gmail.com
Original text in French: