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EPSU is ready for the first European Citizens’ Initiative

(28 March 2012) On 1 April, EPSU will be submitting to the European Commission the first European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) on water. EPSU is the first European trade union organization making use of this instrument contained in the European Treaty. We are supported by a broad alliance of civil society organisations and prominent trade union leaders from EPSU affiliates will engage in the European citizens committee behind this initiative. Our objective is to declare water and sanitation a Human Right and keep water services outside of the internal market rules. We want to mobilise against attempts to liberalise water and sanitation.

We fear that water but also other services, such as health or social services are at risk of being put out for sale. We therefore have to muster forces and act together in the upcoming debate on concessions and public procurement.

The European Citizens’ Initiative will be an excellent tool to rally for support! Once the European Commission give us the green light and we have passed the bureaucratic hurdles, we will start collecting signatures.

The social mobilisation against the continuous so-called reforms of national labour markets and the austerity plans continues. These last weeks we saw major strike action in Portugal, big demonstrations in the Czech Republic and a General Strike will be taking place tomorrow in Spain. Public sector unions are still at the forefront of the fight against austerity, for jobs and democracy!

Last but not least, there are concerns on the financial transaction tax front, in the last few days it seems that the support at European level for the FTT is decreasing. EPSU and all those in favour of taxing the responsible of the crisis will continue to press for an FTT as a means to get us out of the crisis and importantly to regulate speculation

Best,

Carola Fischbach-Pyttel