The European Commission Forgets About the Human Right to Water

According to Food & Water Europe the European Commission’s published statistical results of the public consultation on the Drinking Water Directive does not address the demands of citizens who support the human right to water.

Brussels – The European Commission has published the statistical results of the public consultation on the Drinking Water Directive [1], their flagship reaction to the first successful European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) on the human right to water and sanitation. According to Food & Water Europe, the review of this Directive, the only major initiative about water included in the Commission’s Working Plan for 2015, does not address the demands of citizens who support the human right to water.

David Sánchez, campaigns officer at Food & Water Europe said, “Despite their propaganda, the answer of the European Commission to the first ever successful ECI was just a compilation of already ongoing actions. And the public consultation on the drinking water directive simply does not address any of the demands of the 1,8 million European citizens that supported the initiative. Even worse, this is the only major action about water in their agenda for 2015.”

The demands of the ECI on the Right to Water [2] included implementing the human right to water and sanitation as approved by the UN in 2010; excluding water services from liberalization; and increasing EU efforts to achieve universal access to water and sanitation. The Commission only responded positively to the need to achieve universal access to water and sanitation.

Sánchez added, “With their attitude, the European Commission is doing its best to disappoint the expectations of the massive number of citizens that mobilized using this new tool, the ECI, implemented as a way to make the European Union more participatory and more accessible to the people. If the Commission continues in this manner, it will just broaden the gap between Brussels-based politicians and European citizens.

The European Commission is still analyzing the answers to the open questions in the consultation, the only space available to remind the Commission about the real demands of the ECI. The European Parliament is also currently working on a report on this initiative, which should be up for a vote in the coming months.

Contact: David Sánchez, Campaigns officer, Food & Water Europe, +32 (0) 2893 1045 (land), +32 (0) 485 842 604 (mobile), dsanchez(at)fweurope.org

[1] The statistical report of the consultation can be checked here

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/pdf/results_drinking_water.pdf

[2] More information about the European Citizen’s Initiative on the human right to water and sanitation

http://right2water.eu/