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Hearing in European Parliament Great Success!
(20 February 2014) News Splash Special edition: Monday 17 February we had our hearing at the European Parliament (EP) for our European Citizens' Initiative “Water is a human right!” and the room was packed! This is the first ECI process to ever take place, so it is great that the water issue is leading the way. We had the biggest room in the Parliament (over 400 people) which was full for the entire duration (3 ½ hours) of the hearing.
In the morning we had a meeting with the Commission that gave us the opportunity to explain our demands to Commissioner Šefčovič and several DGs. In the afternoon we had the hearing with Parliamentarians. The fact that European elections are coming up is working to our advantage as it is forcing many parliamentarians to take sides. Many were vocally on our side.
Our message with the three main demands: - Guaranteed water and sanitation for all in Europe; - No liberalisation of water services, and - Universal (global) access to water and sanitation, has been heard very well by the Commission and the MEPs. Beyond our demands on the right to water and liberalisation of water services, “water must be kept out of Trade Agreements (TAFTA/TTIP)” was brought up many times.
Thank you very much to all who supported this ECI during the past year and a special thanks to those that supported us on Monday in the EP! Thanks also to everyone who helped us with social media action! We pretty much dominated the #right2water hashtag.
The Commission now has until 20 March to get back to us with a response and proposal, which is just before World Water Day so hopefully something good will come out of it!