(Press release 18 October 2018) Ahead of next week’s vote in the European Parliament on the Drinking Water Directive (DWD), the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) urges Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to support the call for the provision of universal access to drinking water.
In February this year, the European Commission (EC) started the process of revising the DWD, including for the first time a direct reference to the first ever successful European Citizens Initiative – Right2water. EPSU has been supporting it since 2012. Although the EC proposals do not fully recognise the Human Right to water in EU law as defined by the United Nations in 2010 we consider it a step in the right direction. A vote in the relevant Environment Committee of the Parliament did not go far enough.
The European Parliament has the opportunity to listen to the almost 2 million citizens that back in 2013 signed the European Citizens Initiative (ECI). The report of MEP Michel Dantin includes small steps forward but misses the opportunity to ensure the inclusion a universal provision of safe and high quality drinking water. EPSU and other supporters of the ECI are campaigning for this, bringing us closer to the recognition of the human right to water in the EU. A forceful position is needed towards the Council to convince all Member States.
Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary and vice president of the ECI right2water, says “So far MEPs have been supportive of the millions of citizens that want to see the human right to water recognised in the EU. Now Parliament can ensure this happens through EU legislation.” He adds: “Tuesday’s vote will be an important signal ahead of the upcoming European elections to show that the EP can deliver to European citizens”.
EPSU calls on MEPs to support alternative compromise amendments 206 and 210.
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