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UPDATE: Right to water event at the European Parliament, March 6

(l-r) Gabriella Zanzanaini, Martin Pigeon, Meera Karunananthan, Heide Ruhle, a representative from Jose Boves office, Rosario Crocetta, a staffperson from Crocettas office.

(l-r) Gabriella Zanzanaini, Martin Pigeon, Meera Karunananthan, Heide Ruhle, a representative from Jose Bove’s office, Rosario Crocetta, a staffperson from Crocetta’s office.

Next week, on Tuesday March 6, there will be a hearing on “Alternatives For the European Year of Water” at the European Parliament featuring a number of MEPs and allies including Penny Clarke of the European Federation of Public Service Unions, Gabriella Zanzanaini of Food and Water Europe, and a speaker from Initiative 136, recently in the news for campaigning against the privatization of public water utilities in Greece under austerity measures, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13862.

At least two of the MEPs – Rosario Crocetta and Heide Ruhle – speaking at the forum we have previously met with in Brussels in July 2010 in relation to the then upcoming United Nations vote on the human right to water and sanitation and our ongoing campaign against the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

This forum also relates to the European Citizens’ Initiative, which is a means by which one million European Union citizens (who are nationals of at least one quarter of the member states) can call directly on the European Commission to propose a legal act in an area where the Member States have conferred powers onto the EU level.

As noted on their website, “EPSU is the first to launch a European Citizens’ Initiative. Our goal is to implement the human right to water and sanitation. Our aim is to collect one million signatures from all over Europe to make this happen. What we ask to the European Commission is to exclude water and sanitation from internal market rules and to oblige Member States to ensure the universal enjoyment of the right to water and sanitation.” That’s at http://www.right2water.eu and http://www.epha.org/a/5010.

More on the European Citizens’ Initiative on the right to water soon.