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(22 March 2018) Today is World Water Day. Four years ago we completed the first ever successful European Citizens Initiative for the Human Right to water. Then a new and untested campaign tool, our ECI secured nearly double the minimum number of signatures required, reaching a total 1,884,790 supporters by the time it was submitted in December 2013.

(23 February 2018)  The experience of many campaigners and organisations with running ECI’s has not been positive. Very few were successful and of the successful initiatives the European Commission hardly took notice. The exception was the ECI Right2Water. EPSU’s General Secretary and Vice-President of the Citizens’ Committee of the ECI was invited by the European Parliament to testify and tell the story of the work of campaigners and the unions.

(8 February 2018) The European Commission published its proposals for a Recast of the Drinking Water Directive, 1 February 2018. They include amendments to guarantee vulnerable groups access to safe and affordable water. EPSU has welcomed these suggestions as a step towards realizing the Human Right to Water in the EU regretting that the Commission stopped short of recognizing the UN right in EU legislation.

(7 August 2017) The Lagos State Water Company is pursuing various public private partnerships. The union and Nigerian civil society’s Our Water Our Right coalition, supported by a large group of organisations including PSI are opposing this due to the expected negative impact of PPPs on workers and the people of Lagos. EPSU signed on to a letter of PSI, Corporate Accountability International and others  partners asking that the Lagos water corporation stop pursuing these efforts.

(18 July 2017) The first ever successful European Citizens’ Initiative Right to Water and Sanitation continues to draw attention of researchers and others. A recent paper based on extensive interviews and research was published by the Journal Interface dealing with the analysis of social movements. It was first presented to a meeting of the European Trade Union Institute.

(7 June 2017) As the British people go to the polls to vote in a snap election, reclaiming water management has become a major issue in the British elections. Mainstream economists writing for the Financial Times (FT), Chris Piles and Gill Plimmer’s article (“Nationalisation returns to centre of political debate”, Financial Times, 17 May) clearly shows of the categorical errors mainstream economists make in comparing the merits of public and private water utilities.

(11 May 2017) The European Water Movement (EUWM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is campaigning for the Spanish government to stop putting barriers in the way of re-municipalising water companies. The government has presented a proposal in the budget to amend the law that should be rejected. Please act and send the below message in Spanish to the Minister of Finance.

(28 March 2017) In the midst of the European Citizens’ Committee campaign for the Right2Water we were informed that a mayor cut off access to drinking water to a group of Roma. This caused an outcry. The ECI mobilized in Hungary, many people signed up to the ECI and the country became one of many to pass the threshold for the ECI. In the end nearly 2 million people in Europe supported it as did the European Parliament.

(12 January) Water activists, trade unionists, environmental organisations and European politicians discussed the ongoing fights to defend quality public water services at the invitation of the GUE/NLG group in the European Parliament, on the 11th of December.

(13 December 2016) EPSU is happy to support and promote the recently launched Human Rights to Water and Sanitation toolkit. The project which aims to bridge the gap between water justice activities and human rights campaigns has been developed by the Blue Planet Project, FLOW (For Love of Water), the Canadian Union of Public Employees, KruHa Indonesia, la Red Vida and the National Coalition on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

(12 December) EPSU welcomes the decision of Mafra’s  local authorities to remunicipalise its water services. The local authority was the first Portuguese municipality to privatise its water services, 22 years ago, making this policy reversal a real milestone.

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