17. August 2008














Draft Manifesto (to be discussed during the European Social Forum in in Malmö from 17 to 21 September)

Towards a European Network
of Movements for Public Water
(European Network for Public Water / European Public Water Network?)

We recognise the Charter of Mexico City (Joint Declaration of the Movements in Defense of Water) and the method of working inclusively and in unity that has characterised the social forums since their birth. In particular we demand:

1. Recognition and implementation of the human right to water. Access to water as a universal human right should be included in all constitutions of member countries, starting with the European treaty. This should be enshrined in European Union law and all people of Europe should be guaranteed access to water regardless of their financial ability to pay.

2. That water is excluded from international trade agreements, including the treaties of the World Trade Organisation

3. That the European Commission, European Council and individual European governments withdraw their support from the World Water Forum, which is a flawed framework for decision-making on water. As adopted in March 2006, in a European Parliament resolution, it is inappropriate for the World Water Council, a private body without any democratic legitimacy, to be allowed such influence over global water policies.

4. That the European Union and member countries affirm that water is a common good essential to life and as such cannot be categorised as a ‘product’ to trade like any other. Ownership, management and control of the integrated water cycle should be public, participative and at a social and community level.

5. Political and financial support for diverse forms of public-public partnership through international development cooperation and financial cooperation to ensure access to water, exchange of best practices among public enterprises, local authorities, modalities of participation and solidarity between citizens and communities from different countries and regions.

6. That, considering that water is an essential public good, the investment needed to secure safe and sustainable water supply for all in Europe and across the world is a collective responsibility which should be paid for through general taxation.

We will participate in and support, together with other continental networks and progressive forces in Turkey, the counterproposals to the World Water Council’s World Water Forum (Istanbul March 2009), to be presented within and outside the Forum. Present at the upcoming World Social Forum of Belem (January 2009) proposals and actions to ensure that water will become one of the points of worldwide mobilization of all the social forums.


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