Right2Water: Water and sanitation as human right

Almost two Million signatures from all over Europe were collected for the first European Citizen's Initiative 'Water and sanitation as human right' and against the liberalization of water services.

How did we get here?

Citizens are concerned about the EU's goal to apply the rules of the Single European Market and liberalize water supplies and open them up to competition. Citizens fear that private monopolies could turn water into a marketable product, which would result in limited access for the majority of citizens.

The European Citizen's Initiative enables citizens to petition for a topic to be put on the EU agenda. In the case of Right2Water the initiators of the campaign managed to collect 1.884.790 signatures. The European Commission then had to engage with the initiators of the campaign and start public hearings on the topic.


Why is this important for me?

The goal of the campaign is to achieve a different status for water - and make access to water a human right by excluding water supply and management from ‘internal market rules’ and liberalization.


What's the content?

The right2water-campaign states that water is a public good, not a commodity. The campaign calls on the European Commission to propose legislation promoting the provision of water and sanitation as essential public services for all. Access to water and sanitation should be a human right.

The EU legislation should require governments of Member States to ensure and to provide all citizens with sufficient and clean drinking water and sanitation. Water supply and management of water resources should not be subject to ‘internal market rules’ and water services should be excluded from liberalization. The EU should increase its efforts to achieve universal access to water and sanitation.


What's happening with this legislation in the future?

As a result of this process the Commission published a communication ensuring "to take concrete steps and work on a number of new actions in areas that are of direct relevance to the initiative and its goals" as well as inviting "the Member States, acting within their competences, to take account of the concerns raised by citizens through this initiative and encourages them to step up their own efforts to guarantee the provision of safe, clean and affordable drinking water and sanitation to all.


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