October 23rd, 2018

The European Parliament Fails to Support the Human Right to Water

Brussels – In a vote in the Plenary in Strasbourg this afternoon, the European Parliament has failed to support the implementation of the Human Right to Water in the European Union. The vote on the Directive on the Quality of Water for Human Consumption watered down the measures proposed by the European Commission to ensure access to water for all in the EU.

David Sánchez from Food & Water Europe said in response: “Conservative parties at the European Parliament ignored, once again, the demands of the nearly two million citizens that supported the European Citizens’ Initiative for the Human Right to Water. The proposal from the European Commission was already weak, and today it has been watered down by the right-wing majority at the European Parliament.”

On the positive side, the European Parliament managed to pass some measures to tackle plastic pollution avoiding bottled water use by ensuring the provision of free tap water in public buildings and administrations, encouraging the installation of public fountains in streets and public spaces, and encouraging the provision of tap water in canteens and restaurants around Europe, although the right-wing majority introduced the possibility of charging a fee for it.

“We ask EU governments to improve this legislation in the Council. European citizens will watch closely the negotiations that will take place in the coming months to ensure that their voice is heard and that the human right to water is really implemented,” added Sánchez.


David Sánchez, Food & Water Europe, +32 (0) 485 842 604, dsanchez(at)fweurope.org

Food & Water Europe is the European programme of Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit organisation based in the United States. Food & Water Europe champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people and advocate for a democracy that improves people's lives and protects our environment. https://www.foodandwatereurope.org