Brussels, October 2016
During the secret negotiations of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada (known as CETA), the European Commission always maintained that water would be excluded from the treaty, and that the choice on how to manage Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI) related to water (production and distribution of drinking water and sanitation, among others) by the public authorities would not be questioned. But a careful reading of the final text of CETA shows that the reality is different.
Food & Water Europe and the European Water Movement are really concerned about the impact CETA could have in water as a natural resource and in public water management. When one of the key controversies regarding this treaty are its impact on public services, we want to put on the table an analysis of its potential impacts on water, with the hope that it can be useful for activists around Europe campaigning to stop CETA.
The European Citizens Initiative on the Right to Water has been one of the most successful movements in Europe in the last few years. There is a lot of awareness raised about the importance of taking water back to public control, democratizing water management and that water should be a commons, not a commodity. We are sure we can build on that energy to help defeating CETA and other trade agreements, as one of the biggest threats we have seen of water commodification and privatization.