Access to Water: A public good and a human right
29 April 2015, 08:00-09:30
Members Salon, European Parliament, Strasbourg
Chaired by Michel Dantin MEP
Chair of the “Agriculture and Water Management” Working Group
The working group Water and Agriculture of the European Parliament Intergroup on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Sustainable Development met for the first time in the 8th legislature today, in Strasbourg, under the Chairmenship of MEP Michel Dantin.
‘Access to water’ is the topic chosen for this first breakfast meeting that saw the participation of MEP Lynn Boylan the Rapporteur on the INI Report on the Commission communication on the ECI Right2Water, MEP Angélique DELAHAYE, member of the ENVI Committee and the Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGUINNESS.
The European Commission, the NGO ‘International Secretariat for Water’, together other stakeholders were also present.
After MEP Dantin’s welcome introductory speech, the EurEau Interim Secretary General, Neil Dhot, had the opportunity to present the views of the European water services on this very important topic. Representing both the private and the public operators, EurEau stated that when addressing a fundamental issue such as realisinging the human right to water and sanitation, the difference between public and private operators does not matter. What matters is to ensure high quality water services to citizens, transparency of water operators and customers’ engagement.
The debate was enriched by different experiences at European, national and local level, brought by the participants, addressing affordability of water services, need for investment in water infrastructures as well as sound regulatory framework.
At the end of the meeting, a reference to micropollutants in the aquatic environment triggered an interesting discussion that will continue in one of the next breakfast meetings of the working group.
Thanking all the participants for the fruitful discussions and the EBCD for the organisational aspects, EurEau is looking forward to further meetings to give water the importance it deserves in the European Parliament’s debate.