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Good news for the Right2Water campaign. GUE/NGL MEP Lynn Boylan: “Water is no commodity”

During today's meeting, the Environment, Public Health and Food Security Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted GUE/NGL MEP Lynn Boylan's “Report on the follow-up to the European Citizens' Initiative Right2Water” – a strong pledge to the universal human right to clean water and sanitation. 

A set of 16 compromise amendments proposed by Rapporteur Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin, Ireland) were approved urging the EU institutions to exclude water services from liberalisation as a means to ensure the human right to water and asking the European Commission not to promote the privatisation of water services either by legislation or in any other way.

Despite a myriad of the last-minute attempts by the conservative forces to postpone the vote, the ENVI Committee respected the tiometable and voted in favour of  Lynn Boylan's main recommendations which focused on citizens' concerns regarding the loss of public ownership of water services and reiterated the demands of the Right2Water campaign as the first successful European Citizens' Initiative. It was backed by almost two million people across several member states and called for the EU institutions and member states to be obliged to ensure that all people enjoy the right to water and sanitation; and for water supply and management of resources not be subject to internal market rules.

Lynn Boylan said: “I am absolutely delighted that the committee has adopted all my recommendations on the European Citizen's Initiative on the Right2Water in spite of the attempts by Fine Gael's EPP group to postpone the vote. Almost 2 million citizens signed this ECI and the Commission's response was simply not good enough.

“I am especially pleased to see that my amendments excluding water services from internal market rules and trade agreements such as TTIP were successful. Access to water, including for the most vulnerable groups such as lower-income households, must be guaranteed as a human right, irrespective of income.”