Another World Water Day fighting for the right2water across Europe

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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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