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.”



[1] The Slovenian government raised concerns about the ambiguity of terms like “commercial use of a water source”, how the agreement applies to existing water rights and the future ability of national governments to put limits to concessions already granted without being subject to claim under ICS, among others. The document of the Slovenian government :

[2] The letter from Food & Water Europe, the Council of Canadians, the European Water Movement, Blue Planet Project and Wasser in Bürgerhand :


David Sánchez, Director, Food & Water Europe, +32 (0) 2893 1045 (land), +32 (0) 485 842 604 (mobile), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jutta Schuetz, Speakperson, European Water Movement, +49 (0) 157 390 808 39 (mobile), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press release file