Comments on ECI right2water sent to the European Ombudsman

Dear European Ombudsman,

we are writing to you as a response to your invitation to submit comments regarding the functioning of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI). As campaigners for a public, progressive and sustainable management of water, we very strongly supported, with all means available to us, the ECI on the human right to water that was delivered to the European Commission last January. The Commission has now answered, so we have a good overview of the whole process. Our demands were the following :

  1. The EU institutions and Member States be obliged to ensure that all inhabitants enjoy the right to water and sanitation.
  2. Water supply and management of water resources not be subject to ‘internal market rules’ and that water services are excluded from liberalisation.
  3. The EU increases its efforts to achieve universal access to water and sanitation.


European Commission fails to take real steps towards the recognition of the Human Right to Water

19 March 2014

The European Water Movement regrets that the European Commission decided not to take real actions, ignoring 1,9 million citizens

Brussels - The European Commission (EC) made public today the communication on the European Citizen’s Initiative on the Right to Water[1]. The communication fails to respond to 1,9 million citizens asking for a legislative provision excluding water and sanitation from “internal market rules” and liberalization. The EC’s reaction is lacking in real legislative proposals, and it boils down to a compilation of already ongoing actions plus the announcement of a public consultation on the drinking water directive whose outcomes will not be binding.


First Successful ECI on Right2Water presents demands to EU Institutions

Brussels 17 February - The first ever successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) met with Maros Sefcovic and the European Commission services today to discuss the application of the ECI within European legislation. This is the first time the European Commission meets and discusses with citizens to initiate European legislation.

After having received over 1.68 million valid statements ( the representatives of the citizens committee are demanding that the European Commission recognise and implement the right to water for all into EU legislation as a way of ensuring all Member States do the same.

The message of our ECI is simple. Implement the human right to water, do not liberalise water services in the EU and do more to ensure people across the world have access to clean and safe water,” says Jan Willem Goudriaan, vice-president of the ECI Right2Water.


1.8 million Europeans Demand the Right to Water and Sanitation

Brussels, 10 december 2013.

Today on Human Rights Day, the European Water Movement welcomes the submission of 1.8 million signatures to the European Commission, demanding it to “implement the human right to water and sanitation”.

"Right2water" is the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). The ECI is a tool which can serve to put an issue on the European agenda, by collecting over 1 million signatures from over seven different Member States.


Reply of the Greek water movement to Suez

A Press Conference was recently given by Vice President Suez Water Western Europe Ms. Diane D’Arras in Thessaloniki. With this public response the Greek water movement want to refer to what was said in an effort to enhance public debate on the issue.

Dear Diane,

Let us please clarify that what follows is based on what you said and answered during your recent Press Conference in Thessaloniki, as it has been reported by the journalists and media that were present.

Despite the democratic traditions of your home country and in stark contrast to your saying that Suez will definitely take into account the citizens’ public feeling and vision, the fact that no invitation was provisioned for interested citizens and not all interested journalists were invited, can only be judged negatively. It also stood in contrast to your invitation, on behalf of Suez, to elected members of the city council to become Members in the company’s new BoD. One of those present could have asked a clarifying question as to what rights such a membership would mean apart from providing a false feeling of public participation and an implication of transparency. Unfortunately no such question was posed by the reporters in the room, some of which are in the payroll of your partner in the TAIPED (HRADF) tender for the acquisition of the 51% shares of Thessaloniki water Company (EYATH).


Open letter: Extending and upscaling support for innovative non-profit partnerships

TNI and several other NGOs and trade unions have today written to Andris Piebalgs (EU Commissioner for Development) to express concern about the future of EU support for non-profit partnership projects in the water sector in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. There are indications that the development aid funding that was made available for public-public partnerships a few years ago may be phased out, despite the success of the projects supported so far. The letter calls upon Piebalgs to extend and up-scale such support in the next round of ACP-EU development aid funding.