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10 December is human rights day. We celebrate and remember the struggle of many for human rights and dignity. The European Citizens’ Initiative “Water is a human right!” is proud to be part of that struggle that unites many on our planet. It has engaged hundred thousands in Europe to demand that the European Commission takes steps to implement the right to water as adopted by the UN in 2010.
The ECI collected over 1.85 million signatures after a long campaign that started in May 2012 and submitted these to the national authorities in September 2013. As the first ECI we submitted the signatures to the national authorities for validation.
“It is a great satisfaction to the supporters of the ECI that we can now, on human rights day, announce that we have the certified minimum number of signatures required” says Jan Willem Goudriaan of the citizens committee. “The ball now moves in the Court of the European Commission to listen to the voice of people and propose legislation to implement the human right to water and sanitation in European law”.
While not all results are back yet, based on the certificates received from the national authorities the ECI has collected more than 1 million valid signatures and passed the minimum threshold in more than 7 countries (Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Greece, Lithuania and Finland) countries. When all the certificates are back we will submit our demands officially to the European Commission. So far we have over 1.5 million valid signatures.
Today, on human rights day, we think we have made a big step to bring the realisation of the right to water and sanitation closer to all the people whose rights are not fulfilled yet and a big step in defence of those who see their rights threatened by corporate interests. We also made a major advancement towards more participation of citizens in EU decision-making. The European Commission will give its answer on how and what it will do in three months.
For more information contact Pablo Sanchez: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0032 (0) 474 62 66 33.