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Action 1 - Amendments to the European Water Framework Directive
Action 1 – Amendments to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 



The starting point 


The European Citizen's Initiative (ECI) "Water for citizens'. The right to water, heritage of the mankind, is not for sale!", carried by an European associative platform, aim to propose amendements of the Water Framework Directive of 2000 of the European Union  in order to stop the financialization and the merchandization of water facilitated by the WFD, thus the privatization of water services and policies. This ECI aim at promoting social justice in front of the right to water and the collective responsabilty of citizens in regard to the « res publica » and the common goods. 




Through this Initiative, we wish to mobilise citizens who aren't specifically actives on water subjects. That's the reason why we are actually working within a platform whose members come from different backgrounds, such as alternative and public finance mouvements, trade union, mouvements against poverty and for the right to life, educational workers, churches and non-religious mouvements, pacifists, development cooperation, public enterprises... Our will is to bring together all this mouvements. 

Actually, we are working within an associative platform with three countries: Belgium, France and Italy. At present, we are europeanizing the platform and our ambition is to work with eleven countries:

  • Belgium
  • France
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Luxemburg
  • Spain
  • The United Kingdom
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Sweden

We would like to submit the registration of our ECI to the European Commission between September 2012 et January 2013, in order to take cognizance of  the "Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's water" and to react against it with our ECI. 


Our proposals


1st Amendment
The Preamble of the WFD stipulates that « Water is not a commercial product like any other (…) ». This wording leaves the possibility entirely open for the Member States to treat water like a commodity. WATER IS NOT A COMMODITY!
We propose replacing this recital with:
"Water is an absolutely essential and irreplaceable (natural or treated) ingredient for life of human beings, of other living species and of ecosystems. It is part of the commons, heritage of mankind. Its protection and its valorisation are the responsibility of human communities, which have to safeguard a sustainable and fair use, respecting the right to life for the future generations and ecosystems.


2nd Amendment
The Article 9 of the WFD sets out the full cost recovery principle (profit included) through a price paid by the consumer.
We propose replacing this principle with:
"The costs are covering the universal right to water (50 litres per person per day: drinking water and sanitary services); the collective wellbeing (up to 120-130 litres); the individual comfort (over 120-130 litres). The costs related to the right are covered by general and specific taxation; those of the collective wellbeing by users’ contributions at a fixed rate; those of the individual comfort by progressive rates up to a limit considered as unsustainable and beyond which banning is applied.

3rd Amendment:
The Article 14 of the WFD limits citizens’ participation to public information and consultation.
We propose a new Article 14:
"The member States set the rules and implement the means necessary to ensure a real citizens’ participation in the decision-making process relative to water government and water services management, and in the implementation of the present Directive at all levels, notably at the transnational water basins level, the one which is most favourable for cooperation between EU citizens."



Which practical action? 


We plan to use the "European Citizens' Initiative", a new form of participation in EU policymaking introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. It enables European citizens, at least one million, nationals of a significant number of Member States (7), to call directly the Commission to submit proposals on matters within the areas of EU competence. In this case, we will ask it to propose the mentioned amendments to the WFD. If you want more informations about the ICEs, you can surf on the website of the European Commission or read this guide elaborate by the EESC

To achieve this goal, the ECI-"Water for citizens'" associative platform is actually under contruction and growing (europeanizing), you can discover it by clicking here.

If you want to join this european platform, you can inform us by sending an email to francois@ierpe.eu or by phone : +32(0)2 502 59 82   


Creation date : 16/02/2011 @ 14:26
Last update : 24/04/2012 @ 12:41
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Régie publicitaire
Memorandum on European water policy

On December 2013, 3th,  the European Institute of Research on Water Policy – IERPE – presented its « Memorandum on European water policy » at the European Parliament  in the company of MEPs Philippe Juvin (EPP) & Marc Tarabella (S&D). We thank all of you which were present and contribute to the success of the event.

From now on, the final and up-to-date version of the Memorandum on European water policy http://ierpe.eu/articles.php?lng=en&pg=414 is available on line (currently only in French). We invite you to read it and to disseminate it among your networks .

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