(26 January 2015) The European Commission has presented the (statistical) results of the public consultation on drinking water in the EU in a meeting to the Drinking Water Directive Expert group on 18 December 2014. This group consists of government representative from the Member States and a limited number of stakeholders, mainly from the water industry, and including EPSU.
(26 January 2015) If the European Parliament is positive about the first ever successful European Citizens' Initiative Right to Water that wants the EU to recognise the human right to water and sanitation in the European Union, and if the European Commission would still refuse to act, the instrument of the ECI to promote more participation of citizens and more European debate will be dead. Which activist and which citizen would want to put resources into it to see it frustrated by Commission shenanigans.
The Central Jakarta District Court is expected to reach a decision February 2015 on the lawsuit to challenge the legality of Jakarta water privatisation filed by the Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization (KMMSAJ). Read the article in the Jakarta Post: http://m.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/14/water-privatization-verdict-postponed.html
(8 January 2015) Stating that authorities cannot differentiate between occupants of illegal shanties and those living in authorized houses and providing water supply is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21, the Bombay high court directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to provide water supply to all slum-dwellers, whether legal or illegal. In a country with millions of people deprived from their right to water and sanitation this is a huge advancement.
(6 January 2015) The European Trade Union Institute is organising a debate on the European Citizens' Initiave 'Right2Water' on 22 January 2015 in Brussels (see the invitation below). We will have an eminent social scholar who has analysed what we have done and putting it in a broader perspective, as well as the rapporteur from the European Parliament Lynn Boylan who is preparing the position of the EP on the ECI.
(10 December 2014) It has been a while since we last informed you about what’s going on in Europe.
But plenty is happening. First, the right2water European Citizens Initiative (ECI) is going to be discussed again at the European Parliament (EP). However, this time it is possible that all the elements that the European Commission left out in their positive response to our ECI will be included. We will never stop repeating it, until we get it: we want European Union legislation to implement the Human Right to water as defined by the United Nations.
(3 December 2014) Global efforts to provide improved water and sanitation for all are gaining momentum, but serious gaps in funding continue to hamper progress, according to a new report from WHO on behalf of UN-Water. The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2014), published biannually, presents data from 94 countries and 23 external support agencies. Two thirds of the 94 countries surveyed recognized drinking-water and sanitation as a universal human right in national legislation.
(19 November 2014) In September the UN-special rapporteur launched the handbook on realizing the human rights to water and sanitation. It is an extensive proof of what can and needs to be done to make these rights become a reality for all on our planet. We have contributed to the handbook and we would like to thank and congratulate the special rapporteur and her team for this big job!
(3 November 2014) In response to our ECI “water is a human right!” the European Commission said it would explore “benchmarking” as a way to achieve better quality water services in the EU. As a first step it organised a multi-stakeholder meeting to discuss the subject and to hear the opinions of stakeholder in water services. As ECI organisers we were invited to explain our ideas of how benchmarking could help to improve quality water services in Europe. This meeting took place on 9 September.
(23 October 2014) The European Economic and Social Committee which brings together employers, trade unions, consumers, farmers and representatives of other groups from all European countries calls on the European Commission to come forward with legislative proposals that honour the demands of the European Citizens Initiative Right2Water, the first ever successful ECI. The EESC urges the European Commission to propose legislation
(1 October 2014) On Monday 29 September, a US bankruptcy judge delivered the latest blow to poor residents in the US city of Detroit who are struggling to pay for their water. Judge Steven Rhodes, ruling from the bench, declined to stop the city from shutting off water to people who can’t pay their bills – in practice up to 400 households a day – and reportedly stated that there exists no enforceable right to free or affordable water.
(29 September 2014) On the occasion of World Environmental Health Day, 26 September, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) highlighted the vital importance of water for public health. Having access to adequate sanitation facilities and sufficient amounts of safe water for drinking and hygiene is essential for human health.