(28 March 2012) On April 1st a new legal tool enters into force in the European Union (EU) to increase the citizens participation in the decision making process. The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is a democratic tool for citizens to set the EU political agenda.

(22 March 2012) World Water Day marks the launch of the campaign website for the European Citizens’ Initiative: “Water and sanitation are a human right”, “Water is a public good, not a commodity”. 

News Splash n° 3 : With 1 April only a few days away, preparations are in full swing for the submission of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “water and sanitation are a human right”.  

EPSU Press communication - (22 March 2012) World Water Day – Launch of the website  for European Citizen Initiative “Water is a Human Right not a commodity”

(19 March 2012) In a well attended side event that was co-hosted by EPSU, CUPE and Unison, the public sector and civil society view on the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation came in focus.

Call to action for the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation

We, the undersigned organizations, are deeply concerned that the 6th World Water Forum
plans to adopt a Ministerial Declaration that fails to commit States to the realization of the
human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. The 6th World Water forum is held under
the slogan “It’s time for solutions and commitments.” Yet the draft Ministerial Declaration falls
short of commitments that virtually all UN Member States have already made.

News Splash n°2 : On their  way to launch the first European Citizens’ Initiative for the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation, the Public Services Trade Unions and EPSU are seeking support from and forming alliances with all parts of civil society. This European Citizens’ Initiative concerns all citizens, not just workers. Research shows that  most of the people without good water services or sanitation are women.

News Splash n°1 : On 1 April the first European Citizens’ Initiative on water will be launched by a Citizens Committee fully supported by the European Federation of Public Service Unions. In all European countries our affiliated unions with its civil society allies are preparing for a campaign to promote implementation of the human right to water and sanitation.

On March 4 the Platform against the privatization of the Canal Isabel II and the 15-M Movement organized a popular consultation in the region of Madrid to vote over the privatization of the Canal Isabel II [the only existing canal in Spain]. This popular consultation had over 166.000 people voting. 165.000 voting to keep the company 100% in public hands and 1227 people voting against.

Professor Mildred Warner says public water boards with local leadership and input offer the best model for helping developing countries improve their water quality and delivery. European public utilities have proven to be important partners in helping counterparts in developing countries.

When the European Commission launched an investigation early this year into possible price fixing by French water utilities, the move added ammunition to campaign groups that oppose privatisation of a vital public resource.
A new report challenges the notion that corporations can deliver better service, leading to calls to roll-back liberalisation of water services in Europe and beyond.


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