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Fighting for public water: the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative, “Water and Sanitation are a Human Right”

Bieler, Andreas

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Abstract

Between May 2012 and September 2013 the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ‘Water and Sanitation are a Human Right’ successfully collected close to 1.9 million signatures across the European Union (EU), forcing the Commission into an official position on the role of water in the EU and wider world. Based on a historical materialist approach to social movement struggles, the purpose of this article is threefold. First it will analyse the reasons for why the ECI, initiated and co-ordinated by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), was so successful. Second, the article will assess the impact of the ECI on EU policy-making. Finally, the article will reflect on the wider lessons to be learned for the struggle against neo-liberal restructuring. It will be argued that a combined focus on the commons as well as new forms of participatory democracy may provide the basis for a broader transformative project.

Citation

Bieler, A. (2017). Fighting for public water: the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative, “Water and Sanitation are a Human Right”. Interface: a journal for and about social movements, 9(1), 300-326

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 28, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 6, 2017
Publication Date Jul 6, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 24, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 24, 2017
Journal Interface: a journal for and about social movements
Print ISSN 2009-2431
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 1
Pages 300-326
Keywords EPSU, European Citizens’ Initiative, neo-liberal restructuring, resistance, trade union – social movement alliance, water as a human right
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/44378
Publisher URL http://www.interfacejournal.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Interface-9-1-Bieler.pdf
Related Public URLs http://www.interfacejournal.net/

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