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Towards an European Network for Water as a Commons : Alternative World Water Forum

Alternative World Water Forum

After many years of joint efforts and many important steps – among which the creation of a national Forum and a citizens’ initiative for a new water act aimed at making water services public again – Italian movements for water as a commons won an extraordinary victory in the recent referendum against the privatisation of the integrated water service. It marked an important success not only for Italy but for all Europe and strengthens those opposing the privatisation of this vital element, symbol of all commons, in the entire continent. This victory strongly pushes towards new models of public management of water, in which citizens and workers can democratically participate.

Nevertheless, we realize that a true and long-lasting victory against privatisation processes can only be achieved if we make a leap and reach the European level. Changing EU Commission’s course and stopping ongoing privatisation processes in our continent can be the core of another Europe, based on rights and universal access to commons instead of on markets and profits.

There are many positive signs coming from different parts of our continent, from the successful referendum in Berlin to the remunicipalisation of water services in Paris. There are also important processes going on such as the organization of the Alternative World Water Forum in Marseille in march 2012. All this leads us to think it’s about time we launched together a European network where all movements, unions, associations and civil society groups can join to share their work for water as a commons. The network should represent a common platform which can define some shared core points for a common action and project; campaigns and instruments to be adopted should then be defined step by step, as for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI).

If European social subjects working for water as a commons manage to coordinate their action and elaborate a common platform before Marseille 2012, they will give a very important and decisive support to FAME. We will all be there together with water activists from all over the world to face the offensive of big water corporative interests.

We are therefore proposing to undertake a course that will lead us to the elaboration of a common European platform, timing and methods of which we will decide together. We are asking you to join us in this initiative and to take part in the important meeting in Naples on the 10th and 11th of December. The new government of this Italian city has begun remunicipalising water services and is striving to become, like Paris, a symbol and visible example that remunicipalisation is possible, now.

Forum Italiano dei Movimenti per l’Acqua (Italian Forum of Water Movements)

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