The European Water Movement signed the following CEO open letter with more than 75 other organizations.
Open letter to the EU governments
Stop the EU’s Services Notification Procedure - municipalities need democratic space to protect the interests of citizens!
We, representatives of European cities, civil society groups and trade unions, want to express our deep concern about the proposed Services Notification Procedure. Instead of reporting afterwards, new rules and laws would in the future have to be notified in advance and receive prior approval from the European Commission.
This would reduce space for progressive policies, including at local level. As stated in a September 2018 resolution by the city council of Amsterdam, the proposed Notification Procedure creates unnecessary delays and “seriously harms the autonomy of local governments and therefore poses a threat to the local democracy.” The proposal would create major new obstacles for progressive municipal policies, such as much-needed measures to protect affordable housing.
The proposed Procedure is disproportional and at odds with the subsidiarity principle as well as the obligation of the EU to respect regional and local self-government, as outlined in the Lisbon Treaty.
Cities have a crucial role to play in solving Europe’s social and environmental problems and in deepening democracy with active citizens’ engagement. The proposed Services Notification Procedure would restrict the democratic space of municipalities and is therefore completely unacceptable.