Today, Members of the European Parliament have just voted on the Drinking Water Directive, after 1.68 million citizens called on the EU to recognise access to safe water as a basic human right in the first-ever successful European Citizens Initiative. While universal access to safe drinking water is mentioned in the text the Parliament voted on, there are no requirements for Member States to act on this. Access to clean, safe water remains an issue particularly for vulnerable and marginalised groups. The Greens/EFA group abstained on this vote.
Benedek Jávor, Greens/EFA Vice Chair of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament comments:
"The fact that 274 MEPs abstained shows that the level of ambition from for safe water needs to be much higher. It is shameful that the conservative and liberal groups have watered down progressive changes to the Drinking Water Directive, which would have provided consumers with better information, and would have set increased requirements for water utility companies including on transparency, long-term maintenance of infrastructure and banning disconnections."