1.2 million signatures but we are not there yet!

(7 March 2013) News Splash n°16: On 11 February, ‘Water is a Human Right!’ made history as being the first European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to have collected over 1 million signatures in the European Union. This is a great achievement, thanks to all of your efforts! In fact, we now have over 1.2 Million signatures, but we cannot claim a complete success yet. We have to reach a minimum number of signatures in at least seven EU countries. The latest figures and the minimum per country can be seen on our website: http://www.right2water.eu/node/37/view

Most signatures are from Germany and Austria. In Belgium, Slovenia and Slovakia we have also passed  the required minimum. In other countries the figures  remain low. So we ask YOU again to promote our ECI among your friends, colleagues, at other places where people meet, and through social media. Our campaign went all over Facebook and Twitter in Germany and we think this has helped a lot.

The proposed legislation by Commissioner Barnier that local or regional governments should open their water services to competition is under discussion again. Our ECI has sparked the debate and raised awareness that water services are not like any other services that can be sold and bought on the market (as Barnier suggested at first). The Commissioner now has recognised that water is a public good. For this reason it must remain under public and democratic control. We will continue our campaign to prevent  profit-driven Multinational Corporations from taking over public water services across Europe. Evidence shows that this leads to increasing prices and lower quality of services. Citizens will be the ones paying for this and  the poor will be the worst  affected.

We need to continue with even more determination to collect signatures. We might have reached the minimum to get our proposals on the European political agenda, but by collecting even more signatures, we can  increase the pressure to get  our proposals  turned in European legislation. We will organise activities on and around World Water Day, 22 March, to promote our ECI and to collect signatures. Please let us know if you are planning any activities.  around World Water Day and our ECI.

Water and sanitation are a human right! Water is a public good, not a commodity! Many millions of people continue to be deprived of clean, safe and affordable water and sanitation, even in Europe. The European Commission can do something about it, but WE have to put it on their agenda! Please continue to promote our ECI! Signature forms are available for each country on our website http://www.right2water.eu/signature-forms  and they have our logo and a return address on it. You can sign either on paper or online: www.right2water.eu

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