European Citizens’ Initiative: A game of much publicity and one big lie

European Parliament. Citizens first! Ideas for improving and extending the European Citizens Initiative. Greens / European Free Alliance, Gerald Hafner, (Greens/EFA, DE) in the chair. (EP Audiovisual, 27/06/2013).

European Parliament. Citizens first! Ideas for improving and extending the European Citizens Initiative. Greens / European Free Alliance, Gerald Hafner, (Greens/EFA, DE) in the chair. (EP Audiovisual Services, 27/06/2013).

On April Fools Day 2011, the Regulation (EU) No 211/2011, under the title of “European Citizens’ Initiative” (ECI), entered into force. According to it, one million EU citizens residing in at least one-quarter of the Member States can ‘invite’ the Commission to submit a proposal for a legal act which “they consider to be required in order to implement the EU Treaties”. The first such initiative has now matured and will be presented next Monday in the European Parliament by the organisers, after having collected two million verified signatures from supporters. It’s the ‘”Right2Water“. However, as it will be proved here below, once more the EU is to let its citizens down and will only try to use this ECI Regulation for positive publicity ahead of the European elections.

For one thing, the Regulation No 211/2011 doesn’t oblige the Commission to introduce draft legislation according to citizens’ will. One, two or more million people cannot overrun the requirement of conformity with the EU Treaties. It’s not like Switzerland where the citizens can decide practically whatever they want, through the procedure of referendums. In reality, the entire procedure of the European Citizens’ Initiative is a parody of democracy, letting the various Brussels dignitaries to boast about giving the citizens the right to introduce legislation, knowing that this is a lie and a comedy from the beginning to the end. Let’s test this little and bellicose theory to practice.

The “Right2Water” initiative has three demands, “guaranteed water and sanitation for all in the EU”, “global access to water and sanitation for all” and “no liberalisation of water services”. A Parliament Press release erroneously says that the “campaigners promote the provision of water and sanitation as essential public services”. It’s obvious that the campaigners don’t ‘promote’ anything. It’s the two million citizens who have undersigned the above three demands, and want water and sanitation to remain public services. Under the present circumstances, the most important of the three demands and the most difficult for the Brussels bureaucracy to accept is the last one, invoking “no liberalisation of water services”, clearly meaning no privatization of water supply in the European Union.

No privatization of water supply

Unfortunately for the Brussels autocracy, the facts are against them. They will not be able for long, to seriously go on pretending discussing the three demands. If there was the slightest possibility the Commission would accept what those two million citizens demand, its man in the Troika wouldn’t have asked the Greek government to privatise the two largest public water suppliers of the country, in the Athens basin and the Thessaloniki area. EYDAP and EYATH are two giant, well-organized and mildly profitable companies controlled by the state. They have already undergone a partial privatization, through their listing in the Athens Stock Exchange and the floating of a minority stake.

Currently both those full privatisations are progressing regularly and the Greek government talks with French and other private investors. The only hope for the sellouts to be blocked is the Greek Constitutional Court and not the Commission. Brussels would be on the other side of the fence. The Greek high court may find the complete privatizations of EYDAP and EYATH as unconstitutional on the grounds that water is a public good and the definition of a natural monopoly. Consequently, the entire society cannot become insubordinate to a private concern.

The Commission favors all privatisations

Brussels haven’t uttered the slightest objection to this privatization policy introduced by the Athens government. In reality, it has been imposed by the Troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International monetary Fund. This tripartite ‘creature’ having no real legal entity, is running the country as it does in the case of Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus. If the Commission had in mind to honor its ethical obligation, towards the two million people who signed the “Rigth2Water” it would have intervened and stopped the Troika from selling the Greek liquid ‘crown jewels’.

It becomes clear that this widely advertised “European Citizens’ Initiative” Regulation doesn’t oblige the Commission to introduce draft legislation enforcing the people’s will. It’s just big words and the Brussels system presently promotes the first such mature initiative, in view of the European election of 22-25 May. After the election the Commission will surely decide that it’s impossible and against the EU Treaty, to ban the privatization of the water supply in the entire Union. Not to forget that the ECI Regulation clearly states the citizens’ demand has to comply and be “required in order to implement the EU Treaties”.

There is nowhere written in the EU Treaty that water supply and sanitation cannot be private. The opposite would have been a revelation. So, the Commission will surely deny introducing draft legislation to ban the privatization of water supply and sanitation. Now what if more ECIs mature in the future, asking for other things that one million citizens want? No problem, the Commission can always invoke its mandate as “guardian of the Treaties” and use its discretionary right to dismiss the demands. This is the one big truth behind this ECI Regulation. The lie is that the Brussels bureaucracy pretends that there is substance to it.

Grotesque theater

This will leave the “Right2Water” initiative with its other two demands: “guaranteed water and sanitation for all in the EU” and “global access to water and sanitation for all”. Again those are beautiful words and as such the Commission would have no objection at all to accept them. Then the Commission can argue that the EU budget for the period 2014-2020 is to spend tens of billions supporting water and sanitation projects all over the EU. Consequently the two demands are already served by the European Union and there is no need to enact special legislation.

What will be left after the lights go off and the TV cameras are away, will be the dirty game of playing the democrats who listen to the voice of the people. Unfortunately, the EU people who need water and sanitation are not the bankers who demanded and extracted €4.5 trillion in subsidies paid by the all those poor and thirsty taxpayers.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Poor diets may to be blame for 20cm height gaps among children, study says

UN agency chiefs issue ‘call to action’ on behalf of refugee children

European Youth Forum @ European Business Summit 2015: Why interns should matter to business

UN rights chief says ‘bar must be set very high’ for investigation of murdered Saudi journalist

Antitrust: Commission imposes binding obligations on Gazprom to enable free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets

Statement following the European Medicines Agency review of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca

How one change to shipping goods could change the way we live

Central Mali: Top UN genocide prevention official sounds alarm over recent ethnically-targeted killings

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Arlington, USA: kick-off of the fifth round of the EU-US boxing match

EU to spend €135.5 billion in 2014 or 6.5% less than this year

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Stricter rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

How COVID-19 vaccine efforts could help defeat other diseases

Who should pay for workers to be reskilled?

DR Congo President and UN chief meet at a ‘historic moment’ for democracy in the country

Strong support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s integration into the European Union

3 ways AI will change the nature of cyber attacks

Women Leadership: Paths to a Humanized Medicine

Reforms in a few countries drive a decline in average OECD labour taxes

UN standing with Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique as Southern Africa death toll from deadly cyclone mounts

‘Everything is still to be agreed’: informal talks between Parliament and Council on Rule of law conditionality continue

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

Mozambique’s Beira city ‘returning to life’, elsewhere UN teams assess damage, deliver assistance

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

State aid: Commission approves prolongation and modification of German scheme to support electricity production from renewable energy sources

Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Is academia losing its chance to capitalize on technology?

The fat from your next takeaway meal could help clean up global shipping

COP25: UN climate change conference, 5 things you need to know

This African company is producing cashew nuts sustainably. Here’s how

Can self-charging batteries keep us connected for ever? A young scientist explains

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Third review welcomes progress while identifying steps for improvement

Foreign Investment Screening: new European framework to enter into force in April 2019

Mergers: Commission fines Canon €28 million for partially implementing its acquisition of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation before notification and merger control approval

UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations

Cyclone Idai: UNICEF warns of ‘race against time’ to protect children, prevent spread of disease in flood-ravaged Mozambique

To build cities fit for the future, we need to think differently

Barcelona’s ‘superblocks’ could save lives and cut pollution, says report

The ‘ASEAN way’: what it is, how it must change for the future

How businesses can navigate a global economic slowdown

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Disability inclusion, minimum wage, and LGBTI rights in Botswana

China Unlimited Special Report: at the heart of Beijing

Globally, youth are the largest poverty-stricken group, says new UN report

Hot air behind your cold fridge? Why the future of cooling must be sustainable

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

3 reasons why most Africans aren’t on the internet – and how to connect them

Why cooperative and competitive federalism is the secret to India’s success

State aid: Commission approves €3 billion Portuguese guarantee schemes for SMEs and midcaps affected by Coronavirus outbreak

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

This is what Belgium’s traffic-choked capital is doing about emissions

Why we need different generations in the workplace

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

UN rights experts ‘gravely’ concerned at spike in civilian casualties in north-west Myanmar following internet shutdown

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