Parliament called upon to support first ever successful European Citizens Initiative Right2Water, not to obstruct it.

(Press release- Brussels, 4 September 2015) The European Parliament will vote on the first ever European Citizens Initiative (ECI) 8 September. The Environmental Committee of the EP supported the demands of the nearly 2 million people that signed. The demands include that the European Commission proposes legislation to recognise the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in the European Union based on the UN Resolution of 2010. It will be the Member States that implement it. A group of European People's Party members and eurosceptics like the UK Tories have now introduced an alternative resolution and amendments that delete this demand. While they claim to agree with the demand that water and sanitation are a fundamental human right, they do not want concrete measures to realise it in the EU. It is unclear which interests are served by obstructing the recognition of this Human Right in the European Union.

The attitude puts in question the instrument of the ECI. The European Citizens Initiative was intended to promote more European debate. It would ensure the voice of citizens is heard in Brussels. The issue of the recognition of the Human Right to Water is not controversial. Still there are Members of the European Parliament that do not want to hear the voice of citizens. Which citizen and organisation will take the instrument seriously if after a long campaign and large support - including from the then candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission President Juncker and European Parliament President Schulz - it can be blocked through manoeuvres in the European Parliament? This will not reduce the distance between citizens and the European institutions.

The vice-president of the ECI Right2Water Jan Willem Goudriaan says " The credibility of the instrument of the European Citizens' Initiative itself is at stake. Europe's citizens want that the Human Right to Water and Sanitation is legally recognised in the EU. We do not want the dithering of politicians with this Human Right."

The European Citizens Committee of the Right to Water calls to all MEPs to reject the alternative motion and to respect the spirit of the text signed by almost two million citizens (1,68 million valid signatures).

For more information on the European Citizens Initiative Right2Water

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