Trade Unions and Civil Society Welcome the Introduction of the Human Right to Water into the Constitution of Slovenia

Brussels, November, 18th 2016

Last night the National Assembly of Slovenia passed an amendment to its Constitution to include a new article that recognizes the Human Right to Water. The amendment affirms water should be treated as a public good managed by the state, not as a commodity, and that drinking water must be supplied by the public sector in a non-for-profit basis. It is a great success for Slovenian activists and people.

“Citizens from across the EU and Europe have successfully mobilized to have the right to water and sanitation recognized as a human right – as decided by the United Nations – and have this put into EU law. The European Commission continues to ignore nearly two million voices of the first ever successful European Citizens Initiative. Commissioner Vella should listen to citizens and follow the Slovenian example as soon as possible,” said Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary.

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Governments and civil society concerned about the impact of CETA on water

Brussels - October, 17th 2016

As the EU Council and the European Parliament are about to vote the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA), more questions are raised about its impact on water as a resource and on water services. European and Canadian organizations had access to a list of questions raised by the Slovenian Government to the European Commission [1]. The organizations on its side sent a letter to EU governments raising their concerns [2].

David Sánchez, from Food & Water Europe said: “CETA will open the door to corporate grabbing of water, and push further commodification of water resources. Also it creates new legal uncertainty for public authorities delivering water services”.

A draft joint interpretative declaration has been circulated and there possible impacts on water are denied.

Jutta Schuetz, from the European Water Movement added: “The European Commission and Canada had time enough to take water out of the treaty. Instead, they introduced dangerous provisions written in fuzzy legal terms that will only be clarified when decisions from public authorities are challenged in court. The draft joint declaration is legally uncertain and just a bad joke. If we want to consider water as a commons, and access to water as a Human Right, we need to reject CETA.”

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Time to Act on Right2Water

The European Commission Must Finally Take Action

Together, we have been campaigning for many years to implement the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in Europe. We collected signatures — nearly 2 million. In December 2013 we delivered them to the European Commission, which disappointed all of us with their answer. With your support, we campaigned to get a strong resolution from the European Parliament in 2015. Our demands were also backed by the European Economic and Social Committee.

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Ahead of Saturday demonstration, European Water Movement hails Irish battle for our Right2Water

Thursday September 15th 2016

The European Water Movement says Irish campaign to forefront of “European movement to democratise water” and funding through progressive taxation best way to secure human right to water.

Ahead of the national Right2Water demonstration set to take place this coming Saturday (September 17th), the European Water Movement today said that the Irish Right2Water movement forms part of “a real movement of people to democratise water management and achieve the human right to water that no country in the EU has yet implemented”.

The European Water Movement, a network of organisations whose goal is to reinforce the recognition of water as a commons and access to water as a fundamental universal right, made a submission to the Expert Commission on Water which is available here.

In a statement issued today, the European Water Movement said: “It is clear that the best method of securing access to water, and securing funds for infrastructural investment, is through general taxation“. “The European Water Movement views the struggle of the Irish people to abolish water charges, and to secure a referendum enshrining public ownership of Ireland’s water system, as yet more evidence of a real European people’s movement to democratise water management. Ireland’s Right2Water campaign, like other campaigns throughout Europe, is seeking to achieve the human right to water that no country in the EU has yet implemented. Right2Water is to the forefront of this growing movement”, the statement concluded.

For further information contact :
David Gibney - Right2Water, Tel. 087-1324140
David Sanchez - European Water Movement, Tel. +32 (0) 2893 1045

World Wetlands Day: The European Water Movement calls to defend the Ebro Delta

Brussels, february 2nd 2016

THE EBRO

The Ebro River is the third longest river in the Mediterranean, after the Rhone and the Nile, passing through 9 nine Autonomous Communities before flowing into the Mediterranean Sea where it forms the Ebro Delta (Catalonia).

The Ebro Delta is one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands in Europe. This delta area of nearly 8000 Ha was declared as National Park, recognized as being of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention on wetlands, recognized as Special Protection Area for Birds (SPAB - 79/409/CEE), a Community Interest Area (CIA - 85/337/EEC) and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

THE PROBLEM

The intense water consumption throughout the Ebro Basin puts the river under strong pressure and affects its ecological functionality. In particular, the Delta is the most vulnerable part of the river, altered by the drastic reduction of water and sediment flows that leads to the subsidence of the whole delta area, currently lowering at a rate of 0,3 cm per year. Climate change projections clearly indicate that this phenomenon, together with the sea level rise, will cause the disappearance of 80% of this territory in the next century.

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