1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

Albert II, King of the Belgians, in the centre, and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC on the right. At the inauguration, of the European School Brussels IV. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Albert II, King of the Belgians, in the centre, and Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC on the right. At the inauguration, of the European School Brussels IV. (EC Audiovisual Services).

On April Fools’ Day 2012, the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) came into force and marked the starting point of the first collections of signatures to reach the one million benchmark. The first to accomplish this task are the Organisers of the Right2Water initiative. Incidentally, the European Commission issued an announcement saying that its services will verify the signatures and decide in three months how to act on this.

The main demand of the Rigt2Water initiative is that, “Water is a public good, not a commodity. We invite the European Commission to propose legislation implementing the human right to water and sanitation as recognised by the United Nations”.

According to the organisers, “this ECI is supported by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). EPSU represents 275 trade unions and over 8 million workers in all kinds of public services in Europe. Other European or international organisations that support the initiative include the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN), European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), and Public Services international, EPSU’s sister organisation at global level. At national level, there are many more organisations supporting this ECI”.

The rightfulness of the petition is more than obvious. The idea that the distribution of water may be the means for some to become rich or control the well-being of others belongs to prehistory. Well organised societies have always being taking good care of water supply and sanitation themselves through highly specialised public bodies.

Never in history, water distribution in well organised cities became a source of private enrichment. The reason is very simple. Since there is no substitute to water, its distribution is the “definition” of monopoly and those who control it control the city. That is why only in abnormal circumstances water supply is not run by the city itself.

Unfortunately, some distorted minds, theorising about liberal economics came to the conclusion that everything, even water distribution, can be privatised. They forgot to say that before economic theory there is LOGIC. You cannot bestow to some private individuals the means to hold hostage entire cities or regions. It is true that water sellers have being a traditional profession throughout history. History teaches us, however, that they never came to control the organised infrastructure of water distribution. Evidently, any attempt to control the water distribution, especially in our big urban conglomerates, must be treated as a crime against society.

Given, however, that private profiteering doesn’t recognise logical limits, there is nowadays a lot of water supply and distribution privatisations schemes going on all over Europe. From Paris to Athens and from London to Prague there a lot of serious discussions take place for more privatisations plans. They are serious not because they are logical, but just because politicians accept to seriously discuss those prospects.

The money involved would convince any impartial observer, that much of it is used “in advance”. The entire operation seems like trying to enact a scheme to blackmail entire societies. Whatever controls and limits are set to private operators of water distribution, the fact remains that they are given the right to control a non-substitutable good, water.

Returning to the Right2Water initiative, in three months we will test the value of the European Treaties and more precisely the provision of the Lisbon Treaty about the ECI. The institutional tool to make good use of this EU Treaty provision will be the European Commission, with its great discretionary powers.

The Vice-President of the Commission Maroš Šefčovič in welcoming the Right2Water petition said: “First of all, I would like to congratulate the organisers. Although the signatures will need to be verified, collecting 1 million signatures in fewer than six months is a real achievement. The goal of European Citizens’ Initiatives is to spark pan-European debates on issues that concern citizens across Europe, and get those issues onto the EU agenda. Right2Water has certainly achieved that.”

It remains to be seen how the Commission is to make good use of this ECI and put a really democratic institution at work. Presumably, many citizens believe that the Commission open deliberately the ECI on April Fools’ Day. We expect the Commission to silence them with concrete actions.

The fact remains, though, that the Commission reserves the right of introducing any EU legislation. No other EU institution has this right. If this Right2Water initiative triggers an effective and democratic legislative response from the Commission, then  the existing institutional bodies of the EU, namely the Parliament, the Council and the Commission will increase by one; the one million citizens’ initiative. This can work positively for the entire EU edifice, helping restore its democratic legitimisation.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

Sweden well ahead in digital transformation yet has more to do

A day in the life of a refugee: We should be someone who helps

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

Sustainable Infrastructure and Connectivity in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): a stimulating China-EU dialogue at European Business Summit 2018

Sanctions on Russia to be the biggest unity test at this European Council

Parliament sets conditions on EU-China investment deal

Medicine and mental health: relax, the doctor is a lifelong learner

‘More time’ agreed for buffer zone, to spare three million Syrian civilians in Idlib

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Children Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change: UNICEF

Appreciation of euro to continue

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

EU: All economic indicators in free fall

EU-US relations on the dawn of the Trump era

Trump to run America to the tune of his business affairs

A jingoistic Spanish ‘war’ from the past

SoftLayer, an IBM company, @ TheNextWeb 2014: Masters of Failure and Change

China will be the world’s top tourist destination by 2030

The future of energy in Puerto Rico is renewable

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

How can we measure real progress on the Sustainable Development Goals?

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

Draghi proposes timeframe for full Banking Union in five years

The quality of health education around the globe

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

Is Eurozone heading towards a long stagnation?

Paris agreed with Berlin over a loose and ineffective banking union

Irish Presidency: Not a euro more for EU budgets

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

ECB with an iron hand disciplines the smaller Eurozone member states; latest victim: Greece

How this one change can help people fight poverty

Brussels waits for the Germans to arrive

Medicine in the 4th Industrial Revolution: the third entity of the new doctor-patient relationship

Why social working cultures are happier and more productive

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Violence will not deter Somali people in their pursuit of peace, says UN chief, in wake of lethal attacks

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture

Worldwide consumer confidence has shot up to its highest level for four years according to a survey of 130 Global Retail leaders

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

100 years after Polish independence, 5 reasons to be cheerful for the future

The migration crisis is slowly melting the entire EU edifice

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

We know ethics should inform AI. But which ethics?

PM May fosters chauvinism, declares trade war on Europe

The EU sides with China against the US; but has Germany capitulated to America?

More taxpayers’ money for the banks

Legal Manager – 2050

Trump questions US – Europe kinship, approaches Russia

Ecocraft: take gaming to another level by greening Minecraft

Replacement for United States on Human Rights Council to be elected ‘as soon as possible’

MWC 2016 LIVE: The top 5 themes of this year’s Mobile World Congress

Could robot leaders do better than our current politicians?

Britain’s May won the first round on the Brexit agreement with the EU

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s