Tuesday, 28 September 2021

First successful European Citizens Initiative

Latest News: The European Commission must take into account more than a million signatures saying ‘water is a public good, not a commodity’!


The Commission has received its first successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) from organisers it announced on December 23.

The Right2Water ECI Initiative came with properly validated support from at least one million European citizens in at least seven Member States. Its supporters and organisers believe that ‘water is a public good, not a commodity’.

Support has been checked and validated by the national authorities of the Member States.

The minimum threshold of support for the initiative was exceeded in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain.

Overall, the ECI received 1,659,543 validated statements of support, with figures from Croatia, Denmark and France still to come.

The ball is now in the Commission’s court. Within the next three months, it must invite the organisers to Brussels to explain their ideas in more depth, and a public hearing will be arranged in the European Parliament.

Then the Commission must decide whether it will act by adopting legislation, act in some other way to achieve the goals of the ECI, or not act at all. Whichever route is taken, the Commission must explain its reasoning through a Communication adopted by the whole College of Commissioners.

Water and sanitation are a human right!

Water is a public good, not a commodity. We invite the European Commission to propose legislation implementing the human right to water and sanitation as recognised by the United Nations, and promoting the provision of water and sanitation as essential public services for all. The EU legislation should require governments to ensure and to provide all citizens with sufficient and clean drinking water and sanitation. We urge that:

The EU institutions and Member States be obliged to ensure that all inhabitants enjoy the right to water and sanitation.

Water supply and management of water resources not be subject to ‘internal market rules’ and that water services are excluded from liberalisation.

The EU increases its efforts to achieve universal access to water and sanitation.

Final number of signatures: 1,884,790

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