The European Citizens’ Initiative has now reached 1.5 million signatures, with eight European Union countries having reached or exceeded the minimum number of signatures. Through the European Citizens’ Initiative, the European Commission is being asked to propose legislation that implements the human right to water and sanitation as recognized by the United Nations General Assembly. In order to move this forward, 1 million signatures from at least seven different European Union Member States are needed.
Jan Willem Goudriaan, vice-president of the Citizens’ Committee, says “Our European Citizens’ Initiative has managed to create a truly European debate about water and sanitation and the challenge to ensure that millions of Europeans have access to this basic human right. The financial and economic crisis and the pro-privatisation drive have galvanized millions of Europeans to rally to support our effort to keep water and sanitation out of the internal market rules.”
In late-February, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow spoke to the Chamber of Labour in Vienna, Austria in support of this initiative. At that time, the campaign had collected 900,000 signatures.
The campaign hopes to collect 2 million signatures by September 2013. This effort is supported by the European Federation of Public Service Unions, which represents 275 trade unions and over 8 million workers in public services in Europe. It is endorsed by numerous other groups including the Blue Planet Project, Blue October, and the Council of Canadians.
For more, please read:
Citizen’s Initiative exciting counter-force to water privatization in Europe
UPDATE: Barlow speaks on the right to water in Vienna, Austria
Our Right to Water – case studies on austerity and privatisation in Europe