The first up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) ‘Water is a Human
Right’ made history as also being the first ECI in the history of the European Union to have collected over 1 million signatures. The water initiative aims to get the European Commission to propose legislation on the human right to water covering the following three issues:
- guaranteed access to water and sanitation services for all EU citizens, including the 2 million currently without access and those threatened with disconnection because they can’t afford to pay their bills
- no liberalisation of water and sanitation services
- more European action to ensure that everyone in the world can enjoy the human right to water and sanitation
While the one million signatures are enough to get the proposals on the European political agenda, a further requirement is to reach a minimum number of signatures in at least seven EU countries. Up to 12 March, five countries have met this requirement: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Slovakia and Slovenia. The organisers have collected 1.35 million signatures so far, and aim to get 2 million signatures by September 2013
The organisations behind the water is a human right campaign include the following trade unions and NGOs:
- Aqua Publica Europea
- European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN)
- European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
- European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
- European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
- European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
- Public Services International (PSI)
- Social Platform and
- Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF).
The ECI is the first transnational instrument of participatory democracy in world history. It is considered to be one of the major innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon.
Watch the campaign video.
- Water is a human right campaign - www.right2water.eu
- Initiative for the European Citizens’ Initiative - www.citizens-initiative.eu