(23 March 2017) The European water movement and Europe’s trade unions are stressing that water and sanitation are human rights, on World Water Day 22 March. The European Commission has still not taken any action to implement the human right to water and sanitation in legislation. This right was agreed in the UN and demanded by Europe’s first ever successful European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water and supported by the European Parliament. Europe’s people agree continue to agree.
The Irish Parliamentary OIREACHTAS committee on water agreed to hold a referendum on enshrining public ownership of Irish Water in the Irish Constitution. Irish unions and water movements are supporting this. They do not want water in private hands as Impact’s Kevin Callinan and the EPSU GS explain.
Greek unions and activists continue their fight against privatization of the water companies and for the right2water. They have started a petition to demand the Commission to publish the correspondence that leads to the push to privatize. EPSU supported this in the European Parliament. In Portugal public sector trade unions continue their campaign to remunicipalise water and against privatisation (see also EPSU welcomes the decision of Mafra’s local authorities to remunicipalise its water services). Finnish unions continue calling for the implementation of the rights to water.
This past week over 4000 people went to the streets in Terrassa, a medium size town in the outskirts of Barcelona. The population wants their water services back in municipal hands.
Conferences on right2water water and remunicipalisation took place in the Italian Parliament on Monday organised by the Member of Parliament Federica Daga and with support of MEP Dario Tamburrano, a long standing supporter of ECI right2water. Workers came out in support of the ECI demands in Germany.
EPSU will participate in a discussion in the Slovenian Parliament following an amendment to the constitution integration the Right2water, as well as with European Water Movement supporters we met with Slovenian government officials in Brussels together with MEP Igor Soltes another long standing supporter. We will work with Slovenian activists to get the Commission focused on the right2water.
Many other allies and sister organisations that share our fight also were mobilised during the week. The transnational Institute published this comprehensive list of the different and inspiring battles across the planet. PSI linked the fight for public water with the tax justice battle and for women’s rights.