Even before the signatures are handed in to the European Commission our European Citizens’ Initiative has achieved a first political success! Commissioner Barnier has announced that water will be excluded from the concessions directive . "it is our duty to take into account the concerns expressed by so many citizens", and "I hope this will reassure citizens that the commission listens," Barnier said in his statement. The success of our ECI made headlines in many countries.
We are very happy with this huge result, but we will continue to collect signatures until 9 September. Our ECI does not only address the way water services should be provided, but it addresses first and foremost the lack of water and sanitation for so many citizens. This campaign is a means of getting a commitment to the human right to water and sanitation. It is a tool to change the mind-set in the European Commission from a market-based approach with the focus on competition to a rights-based approach with the focus on public service. It aims to achieve universal (global) access to water and sanitation and to safeguard the limited public water resources for future generations. Many millions of people continue to be deprived of clean, safe and affordable water and sanitation, even in Europe. The European Commission can do something about it. WE will put it on their agenda!