S&Ds criticise the Commission for failing to deliver a law to guarantee access to water

European Citizens' Initiative 'right2water' campaign

The S&D Group regrets the lack of engagement of the European Commission with regard to the request from Europeans to guarantee access to water and sanitation and to stop the liberalisation of water services, because water is a public right. Socialists and Democrats expected the Commission to present a legislative proposal aimed at promoting water provision and sanitation as an essential public service for all, but the Commission failed to deliver.

The announcement of the revision of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Drinking Water Directive are a positive development, but not enough.

Leading S&D members support the European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water, which reminds us that water is a public right, not a commodity. And everyone should have the right to enjoy it.  

S&D Portuguese MEP Edite Estrela said:

"It is a shame that the Commission does not meet the citizens' expectations who had signed the first-ever European Citizens' Initiative and fails to recognize water and sanitation as a human right. It gives the wrong signal to citizens who want to be involved in the construction of the European project."
S&D Greek MEP Kriton Arsenis said:
"It is deeply disappointing that the European Commission has failed to respond fully to the first Citizens’ Initiative on the eve of the European elections. Access to water is a fundamental right - everyone should have access to water and sanitation. Almost 2 million European citizens asked for EU legislation that recognises the damage done by water privatisation and puts a stop to any further attempt to sell off water utilities. The Commission's response is weak and evasive.
"They have failed to propose legislation recognising the human right to water; they have refused to give a commitment to bring forward no further proposals for liberalisation of water and sanitation; and they have made no commitment to exclude these services from the TTIP trade negotiations with the USA. Citizens have little reason to trust the present Commission on this issue, when through the Troika they have actively promoted water privatisation in the EU countries subject to EU stabilisation programmes.
"This is a depressingly unambitious response to the first European Citizens' Initiative, which was intended in the Lisbon Treaty to be a big step towards a more democratic and responsive EU. It shows yet again that the wrong people are running Europe – no wonder Europeans in their millions are becoming disenchanted. It shows us the urgency in making a radical change in how Europe is run."