Another World Water Day fighting for the right2water across Europe
This year’s World Water Day was special. For the first time we celebrated the fact that an European Union Member State, Slovenia, has enshrined the human right to water and sanitation in its constitution. And if Slovenia can do it, then surely all Member States can do it. Mobilisation to support the people’s demand took place in many countries. Citizens demanded that the European Commission implements the ever first successful European Citizens Initiative, right2water. Irish unions support a constitutional amendment to declare the water company a publicly owned one. And unions, water activists and people bring that demand to local level as we see an increase in remunicipalisation across Europe.
Another EPSU demand is the implementation of a European Financial Transaction Tax. As time has gone by millions of euros are being lost in revenue not being collected. We have renewed our demand that the 10 EU countries that committed to it to stop beating about the bush! We need an FTT in the same way that we need public country by country reporting, a common consolidated corporate tax base with a minimum of 25% to realise tax justice in the EU and beyond. We were shocked to see that the whistleblower Antoine Deltour’s sentence was confirmed. We stand side to side with all those that courageously denounce tax abuse and injustice. It shows that our common effort to get a decent piece of legislation on whistleblower protection is much needed.
These are turbulent times, we sent a message of sympathy and solidarity to our UK colleagues. People lost their lives including a police officer, as emergency workers and other public service staff provided first aid and other care. As Brexit negotiations start this week, the remaining 27 governments renewed their support for the European Union and re-committed to a Social Union and to social partnerships.
For the European Union to continue to inspire to people in the EU and beyond, we need not only fine words, we need actions to realise the social progress that was to be a mainstay of the EU project. And as the governments, the EU social partners concluded an important agreement on the eve of 60 years of EU history, encapsulated by the Rome Treaty. Does BusinessEurope, Europe’s largest employer group, understand that for workers and people their Europe of coordinated structural labour market reforms with decentralised bargaining, more flexibility, longer working for lower pensions is not appealing?
Our next Executive Committee, the 54th, takes place in Brussels 6-7 April. We expect many titular and substitute members as we look ahead to the work still to be done towards Congress in 2019. It will be a day of action as health and other care unions mobilise 7 April (World Health Day) against commercialisation of care and for people’s rights to health and other care.
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The European water movement and Europe’s trade unions are stressing that water and sanitation are human rights, on World Water Day 22 March.
An EPSU delegation was warmly welcomed by the Slovenian Permanent Representative Janez Lenarčic and MEP Igor Soltes to celebrate Slovenian leadership in the campaign to have water recognised as a basic human right, on World Water Day, 22 March 2017.
Several people were injured and 4 killed including a policeman in a terror attack at Westminster in the UK, 22 March 2017.
Efforts to privatize utilities and health institutions, the outsourcing of services, overcrowded prisons, and the constant pressure on the unions from unfriendly governments were some of the themes discussed by the board of the Cyprus Turkish Civil Servants Trade union KTAMS with the EPSU General Secretary.
More than 17,000 Belgian health and care workers took to the streets of Brussels today in protest against austerity-related problems and creeping privatisation, in the non-profit and public health and care sectors.
EPSU fully supports the lobby transparency coalition position that ‘the European Parliament (EP) must do much more to improve lobby transparency’. A 100 civil society organisations have written an open letter to MEPs asking the EP to do more to improve lobby transparency.
In response to the EC consultation on the Multilateral Investment Court (MIC) that closed on 15 March, EPSU argues that the EC proposal would do little to address the fundamental flaws in the investor-to state dispute settlement system