(18 March 2015) 22 March is World Water Day. Still today, we are facing a global water crisis: One in nine people lack of access to clean, safe drinking water. More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war, and water systems around the world critically need investment. Still also large multinational corporations and their financial backers are exploiting the crisis to transfer public water into private hands. The result: corporate-driven projects that prioritize profit, not people’s needs for access.

(18 March 2015) After the victory of Syriza in the elections in Greece a more social policy was promised to the people that suffered from austerity measures imposed by the Troika.

The Thessaloniki water company EYATh immediately put this into practice. It introduced social tariffs that allow poor people to receive 30 m3 water free of charge per semester (4 months period)

(17 March 2015) The European water movement that since its beginning has  supported the first successful European Citizens Initiative has called for a European mobilisation on March 23 in Brussels.

This is an action in the frame of World Water Day and in the framework of the anniversary of the reply of the European Commission to the ECI right2water.

The European Parliament Committee for Environment (ENVI) has started an “own-initiative” on our ECI right2water, because it shared our conclusion that the response of the European Commission was disappointing and not in accordance to such a successful European Citizens’ Initiative!


(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:

(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!

The handbook is available here


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