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 Full text 
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Quality of water intended for human consumption (debate)

  Lynn Boylan, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Madam President, those of us who have worked with the Right to Water movement for years are disappointed that the Commission chose this vehicle to address the human right to water. Because either we enshrine a human right to water or we fail to uphold it. There is no halfway house when it comes to human rights.

So why is it that the human right to water is so special that it deserves this mediocre outcome? We are supposed to be the direct representatives of the people of Europe and yet we are doing a complete injustice to the Right to Water petition, which received nearly two million signatures, and also an injustice to the 2015 Parliament position.

We in the left cannot endorse this report. To do so would be to accept the outcome of lenient, à la carte obligations as a response to a Europe-wide petition that sought to effect systemic change. The petition looked to address the serious problem of water poverty, which affects two million people in the EU.

The demand that universal access to water would also include affordability. That demanded an end to the EU’s water liberalisation agenda and this is the response that we give the citizens: arguments of cost-effectiveness or what have. This is a clear dismissal of socio-economic rights. What we have is not good enough, and the Right To Water movements across the EU share that view.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

Last updated: 28 June 2019Legal notice