Thursday 30th May 2013
The Right2Water campaign, which has gathered over a million signatures throughout the EU, had another major breakthrough last weekend as French minister for housing and land management, Cécile Duflot, pledged her support and signed the petition. It’s the first time that an acting minister has supported and signed up to the campaign.
Minister Duflot’s support adds to growing political support for the campaign in France, which already includes Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris, Patrick Rimbert, mayor of Nantes, and Anne Le Strat, President of the Paris water company ‘Eau de Paris’.
Delegates at IMPACT’s local government conference in Wexford last week were urged to support the campaign to help prevent any future privatisation of water in EU countries.
Shane Lambert, chair of the union’s local government division, told delegates “This union is utterly opposed the privatisation of water. The provision of water and sanitation should be recognised as a human right. As such, any attempt to privatise or commodify water services, any attempt to let water become subject to the influence of the market, any attempt to allow profits to be drawn from Ireland’s water infrastructure will be opposed forcefully and decisively.”
He said it was essential that union members take necessary steps to safeguard the future of public water provision. He called on members to support the Right to Water campaign, which he said has the potential to force the EU to consider proposals to protect water and sanitation services from privatisation.
The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) launched the campaign to protect water as a human right in 2012. It has met its first target of attracting one million petition signatures across the EU. The campaign is one of the first to use the European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI), which enables EU citizens to put particular issues on the EU’s legislative agenda. The campaign will continue to collect signatures until September.
IMPACT is urging all union members and their families to sign the campaign petition. To do so, visit www.right2water.eu.