“Water is not a commodity but a public good that must be safeguarded, not opened up to competition.”

- Watch this 2 mins video on why legislation freeing water privatisation is not in people’s interests

This initiative sees the promotion of water supply and sanitation as essential public services for all. In the framework of the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), the aim of this campaign is to collect one million signatures from all over Europe.

Led by European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) the ECI Water is a Human Right campaign aims are:

- to guarantee water and sanitation services for all;

- to keep water services out of internal market rules;

- and to increase efforts to achieve global access to water and sanitation for all.

The damaging effects of water privatisation are highlighted in the following report:

- “Why water is a public service: exposing the myths of privatization.”

Who is organising this?; why should I sign?; who are the organisations behind this ECI?. Get your questions addressed at the campaign’s FAQ.

  • What exactly is a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)?

An ECI is a new tool for participatory democracy in Europe. Since last 1 April, citizens can put an issue on the European political agenda by means of an ECI, which involves collecting one million signatures from at least seven different EU Member States.

  • How can you, your organisation and your affiliates promote this campaign?

Once you have signed the Statement of support, you can start inviting people to sign by, for instance, placing the campaign’s logo on your website; using the campaign’s URL in your email signature; emailing your members and like-minded organisations (you can even forward this email); organising events (like a street stall); writing articles for your national or local media; or getting in touch with stakeholders in your country (e.g. local authorities, or academics). In fact, the mayors of Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, Nantes, Naples, Gent and Vienna already support the signatures collection by acting as ‘ambassadors’ for the campaign. Get in touch with your local celebrities – you will be surprised how easy it can be to mobilise people when it is all about the common good.

- Watch the campaign’s video

- Drop an email to the ECI Water is a Human Right coordinator in your country to find out what is being done in your city or country.

- Explore the multilingual material the campaign has put at your disposal (signature forms; logos; pamphlets; posters etc)

Do get in touch with the campaign coordinator Jerry Van Den Berge or with Javier Delgado Rivera, EPHA’s Communications Coordinator, if you have any questions or want any help implementing the campaign.

EPHA related articles

- World Water Day: Join the campaign to defend our right to water and sanitation
- Water as a public health good
- How will water shape the 21st century?
- Resources on water and health
- European Commission new Innovation Partnership on Water still treats water as a commodity
- EPHA Statement on the World Water Day 2012: “Access to water and sanitation is a human right, not an ordinary commodity”
- Civil society unites on water policy
- Reports’ findings - an inefficient use of water resources in Europe
- A Decade of "Water for Life" launched on world water day

Last modified on February 28 2013.