European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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22 January 2015, ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, ETUI meeting room 7th floor; 12h00-14h00

Monthly Forum: Mobilising for change: The first successful European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Water is a Human Right’

Speaker: Andreas Bieler, Professor of Political Economy and Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, University of Nottingham (UK)

Comments: Lynn Boylan, MEP Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left and rapporteur on the EP position on the Right To Water (R2W) Initiative; Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary EPSU and Vice-president of the R2W; Louisa Parks, University of Lincoln (UK)

Moderator: Philippe Pochet, General Director, ETUI

Between May 2012 and November 2013 the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ‘Water and Sanitation are a Human Right’ successfully collected almost two million signatures across the European Union, forcing the Commission into an official position on the role of water in the EU and wider world.

Andreas Bieler assessed the alliance of trade unions and social movements underpinning the successful initiative. He critically discussed the underlying dynamics of the ECI and its relation to the broader global and European water movements, as well as explore the reasons for its success. The limits to a wider impact of ECIs on EU policy-making were alsoinvestigated and, finally, the presentation outlined some additional lessons that are of relevance for the struggle against neo-liberal restructuring.

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