To encourage the participation of Europeans in the EU decision-making process, the Lisbon Treaty created the Citizens Initiative, which requires raising at least one million signatures in seven member states. Only now the first petition was object of a hearing in the European Parliament, to discuss the access to water and sanitation.
The Right2Water initiative collected 1.7 million signatures.
It says the EU should consider making access to water a human right.
“We should not privatise water services. We must keep water in public hands e (ensure) there is a democratic control close to the needs of the citizens”.
The Commission will now decide on how it will act on the initiative.
Yet it is not obliged to translate the petition’s demands into policy.
“All the sceptics have been proven wrong, because the organizers really have selected topics which are important for the citizens like the environment, the infrastructure, the topics that are truly close to the citizens’ hearts” – said Maroš Šefčovič, EU Commissioner for Inter-institutional relations.
The EU executive has previously denied that is has any plans to proposal privatising water services across Europe.