(March 7, 2012) A week before the opening of the World Water Forum in Marseille, campaigners rejoice in the success of the Alternative event taking place in parallel during the corporate event.
The European Coordination (see members below) of the Alternative World Water Forum (FAME) organised a Public hearing at the European Parliament in light of the Resolution that the European Parliament is debating on March 15th on the World Water Forum. The Alternative event has today more than 1500 registered participants while the corporate event struggles to arrive go over the 2000 participants despite the huge corporate and government funding.
The hearing in the European Parliament (EP) was organised in conjunction with the three progressive groups of the EP (Socialists and Democrats, Greens and United Left) and debated about water as a geopolitical element and how the European Commission and Council have been pushing for water privatisation in countries such as Italy and Greece.
So far water has been largely outside of the internal market due to the strength of the social movements. But the big multinationals (Suez, Veolia…) together with the Troika have been pushing for privatisation with the false argument that as a scarce resource the market will be able to manage it more efficiently.
The Alternative World Water Forum will discuss and debate the real alternatives for water: Public -Public Partnerships (PuPs), how to keep water out of the internal market in Europe and how to improve the use of water resources. In that regard, FAME will see the launch of the report – Our Right to Water, case studies on austerity and privatization in Europe.
Marseille will be the moment for the European movement to take stock and discuss the launch of a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) on Water (www.right2water.eu) which will be the tool to transform many national movements into a truly European one. This ECI is being backed by the European Federation of Public Services but is supported by many civil society organisations across Europe.
For more information: Pablo Sanchez, 00 32 474 62 66 33
List of organisations that run the European coordination: Food & Water Europe – The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) – AQUATTAC, Belgian Social Forum, CNCD, IERPE…