Water and Sanitation are a Human Right! Water is a Public Good, not a Commodity! – Jerry Van den Berge

April 4, 2014 News

“An ECI That Works! Learning from the first two years of the European Citizens Initiative” will be released on 15 April 2014 for ECI Day at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. In anticipation of ECI Day, we’re giving you a taste of the rich learning and clear guidance for reform inside “An ECI That Works!”. We’ll feature one of the publication’s 36 articles each day between now and the 15th of April.

The first article is from Jerry Van den Berge, policy officer with EPSU and coordinator of the “Water is a Human Right!” ECI campaign.

The Right2Water ECI, the first to collect one million validated signatures, was started by EPSU to put the human right to water and sanitation on the EU agenda and prevent the liberalisation of water services. Although its ultimate impact is uncertain, public support for the campaign led the Commission to remove water from the EU concessions directive. This unusually well-prepared, professionally managed and well-resourced ECI attracted a diverse coalition of partners and major media attention. Yet, like other ECIs, it struggled with an inadequate online signature collection system, intrusive ID requirements and limited citizen awareness of the ECI.