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ECI „Water is a Human Right“ ready for submission to Commission

ECI „Water is a Human Right“ ready for submission to Commission


More than seven countries reach necessary quorum - Yesterday, the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "Water is a human right" jumped over the last hurdle to qualify for the European Commission as a law proposal.


With Luxembourg, Finland and Lithuania providing the necessary amount of signatures also, there are now one million signatures from at least seven EU countries that fulfil the required minimum threshold. The ECI will be the first citizens' initiative ever to be handed over to the European Commission. 

In February 2013 the organisers behind the ECI – a broad alliance of trade unions and civil society groups across Europe - had already announced that they had gathered the necessary amount of one million signatures, yet the criterion to spread the amount proportionately (according to numbers of Members of European Parliament per country x 750) yet was not met. Germany, Austria, Belgium, Slovenia and Slovakia subsequently fulfilled the minimum numbers, but until 2nd May 2013 at least two countries were still missing. 

The organisers of the ECI intend to continue collecting signatures until 31st October 2013 in order to bring in substantial political weight when submitting the initiative to the European Commission. However, before doing so, the signatures (or officially “statements of support”) will have to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States. As soon as handed over to the Commission, the EU’s executive body will have three months to examine the initiative and to decide how to act on it – the European Citizens’ Initiative is not legally binding. The ECI organisers will also have the opportunity to present their initiative at a public hearing to take place in the European Parliament.

Further information:

- Website „Water is a Human Right“ at  www.right2water.eu
- Website by the European Commission listing all ECIs at www.ec.europa.eu/citizens-initiative/public/initiatives/ongoing
- An updated user manual to the European Citizens’ Initiative is available at www.europeancitizensinitiative.eu

Text by Cora Pfafferott



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