Water services and basic rights
EP backs Citizens' Initiative on Right to Water despite centre-right dissent
The European Parliament today adopted a report setting out the EP's opinion on the massively popular European Citizens' Initiative aimed at protecting the right to water (Right2Water). The resolution gives explicit support to the goals of the initiative (1), despite a move by centre-right MEPs to block this. After the vote, Green MEP Claude Turmes said:
"The European Parliament has today voted to give its backing to the hugely popular citizens' initiative on the right to water. The major popular mobilisation behind the initiative shows this is an issue that is a top priority for Europe's citizens and it behoves the EU institutions to respond positively to this appeal for action. We are happy that the move by centre-right MEPs to undermine the citizens' initiative was not successful. Faced with the ongoing threats to water services in Europe, the EU institutions should be defending citizens' basic rights as regards the provision of this fundamental service.
"The initiative calls for the Commission to legislate to ensure the UN-established human right to water is enshrined in EU law, as well as permanently excluding water services from EU internal market rules and any trade negotiations (including ongoing negotiations like TTIP, CETA and TISA). The ongoing threats to the availability of water as a basic right and public service were again confirmed this summer, with the planned inclusion of water services in Greece as part of the privatisation list under the Greek bailout programme. The Commission should be giving priority to responding to this legitimate citizens' initiative and not seeking to brush it under the carpet. The European Parliament has today ensure the issue remains on the agenda and we will keep pushing the Commission to act."