Brussels, 8 september 2015.
Today's vote is a great victory for democracy, civil society and for each of almost 2 millions citizens who signed the European Citizens Initiative on the Right to Water.
The report on the follow-up to the European Citizens' Initiative Right2Water, supported today in the European Parliament by a majority, passed with no major changes, despite a countermotion proposed by the EPP and the ECR groups.
The position of the European Parliament on the Right to water is clear!
The Commission is now called to implement the right to water in Europe through production of effective legislative tools to make the human right to water and sanitation a reality.
Water is endorsed as vital to human life and dignity, not to be treated as a commodity. Therefore, water services must be excluded from trade agreements, such as the TTIP.
The Commission is also called not to promote privatization of water services in the context of austerity measures and permanently exclude water, sanitation and wastewater disposal from internal market rules.
It is victory for the human right to water but it is also a victory against TTIP and austerity!
The rapporteur, Irish MEP Lynn Boylan, stated "the Commission's initial response to the ECI was vague, disappointing and did little to answer [citizens'] demands. In this report I and fellow progressive MEPs have come together to produce a report which better answers their campaign."
Today's vote demonstrates that citizens' pressure is effective and crucial, since even some ECR and EPP MEPs eventually voted in favour of the motion.
For this reason, while praising the European Parliament for this vote, the European Water Movement also wants to congratulate all the civil society organisations that engaged in the mobilization. Furthermore we want to thank each of the more than 11200 European citizens that during the last 4 days wrote to MEPs (including taking part in the joint online action) pushing them to vote in favour of the Right to Water!
As European Water Movement we expect the Commission to have, eventually, a positive and proactive reaction: we want the human right to water to be a reality for European citizens!