(7 March 2013) Many unions, water activists and others are working to bring back the water system in public hands. The experience with privatised water services is not good as prices increase,quality does not improve, investment are not made and citizens feel they are paying for the profit margins of faraway shareholders. Some of the activists in Buenos Aires and Paris have brought together their experiences to assist others so they can learn in a video (YouTube).

(6 March 2013) See our contribution to ‘thebrokeronline’ consultation on post-2015 goals for Water. This is an online platform in which the follow up to the Millennium Development Goals related to Water and Sanitation is being discussed

A private water company Spanish Agbar, part of the Suez Environment group, has approached European policy makers and others and invited them to participate in a study tour. The company wants to discuss the Blueprint for Water of the European Commission. The company indicates that it is willing to pay travel and accommodation. Several Spanish organisations and including EPSU affiliates have expressed their concerns to MEPs.

(1st March 2013) The campaign ‘Agua de todos’ (water for all) that fights against the privatization of water and sanitation in Portugal presented yesterday 40.000 signatures to stop privatization of the national water company.

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the success of Agua de todos and wishes that the voice of tens of thousands of Portuguese citizens will be heard by the authorities and they will stop the privatization of the water company. The campaign is well trade union backed with the active participation of EPSU’s affiliate STAL.

Access to clean drinking water is a  universal right. An absolute necessity.


(27 February 2013) The Parliament of Andalucía, the most populous region of Spain, is voting tomorrow a motion to support the European Citizens Initiative (ECI)  ‘Water is a Human Right’.

(27 February 2013) The first ever European Citizens Initiative (ECI) to collect over 1 million signatures welcomes the political debate that is taking place all over Europe on water and sanitation. The positive impact of the citizens’ mobilisation is already being felt in many member states and at  EU level.

(26 February 2013) In a letter sent to the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) CUPE states that it is a tremendous accomplishment and that it helps the Canadian public employees as well in their fight against liberalization and privatization of water services. The awareness raised in Europe will aid in our collective (global) efforts to implement the UN recognized right to water and sanitation.

Since the beginning of the first up and running European citizens Initiative several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have expressed their support for the European Citizens Initiative ‘Water is a Human Right’.

The European Commission has proposed a new directive on concessions. Many citizens have interpreted this as a new attempt to privatise water. While strictly speaking this directive does not force municipalities to privatise water services, it will put pressure on municipalities to put concessions on the market. It Is the expressed aim of the Commission to facilitate competition and public-private partnerships with this directive. It is the latest in a long battle of multinational water corporations being served by the European Commission to open up water markets in Europe.

(February 2013) The German TV programme, Monitor, ran an item on the European Commission's plans to privatise water services in Europe's crisis hit countries on Thursday 13 December. Watch the broadcast (German spoken, text in English)

(Brussels, 11 February - EPSU Press Communication) Yesterday, the first up and running European Citizens Initiative (ECI) ‘Water is a Human Right’ made history as also being the first ECI in the history of the European Union to have collected over 1 million signatures.


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