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European Commission ignores citizens’ demands once again - Lynn Boylan MEP

3 February, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has criticised the European Commission for once again ignoring the demands of citizens across the EU.

The Dublin MEP was responding to the European Commission’s launch of the revision of the Drinking Water Directive which failed to recognise the human right to water.

Ms. Boylan said:

“In 2013, 1.9 million people across the EU signed the European Citizens’ Initiative calling for water to be recognised as a human right in EU law.

“A year later the European Economic and Social Affairs Committee also joined the people’s call for the recognition of water as a human right. The Commission, however, remained silent.

“In 2015, I was proud to be a rapporteur of the European Parliament report that weighed in fully behind the citizens’ initiative and demanded that the human right to water be enshrined in EU legislation.

“Now, five years after the signing of the European Citizens' Initiative, the EU Commission has responded but that response is deeply disappointing and is further proof that the EU Commission, which seems to function within a Brussels bubble, is incapable of taking on board the wishes of people.

“While it is welcome that the revision to the Drinking Water Directive has referenced vulnerable populations and the need to prevent water restrictions to those particular groups, it has stopped well short of recognising the human right to water.

“Affordability is the main challenge for the Human Right to Water within the EU and the Commission’s revision of the Drinking Water Directive completely ignores that fact.

"The Right2Water campaign in Ireland repeatedly highlighted the affordability issue in EU countries which operate water charges and the fact that taxation is the only equitable way to provide water.

"The reality is that thousands of families across the EU continue to have their water cut-off because they are unable to pay their bills. The EU Commission’s proposal to guarantee access to water is simply not adequate."

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