Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment at the lack of support for universal access to water from a majority of conservative MEPs.
Speaking from Strasbourg after yesterday’s vote on the review of the Drinking Water Directive in the European Parliament, Ms. Childers said:
“Everybody agreed that decades-old EU water quality and safety standards had to be brought up to date with scientific knowledge and environmental goals.
“Unfortunately, not everybody in Parliament agrees that vulnerable groups such as the homeless have a right to access to water
“The first successful European Citizens’ Initiative ever called precisely for European action to ensure water remains a public service and a public good.
“About a million people in 21st century Europe lack access to water, with close to ten times more lacking sanitation.
“This review was a wasted opportunity to listen to the voice of our citizens and enshrine universal access to drinking water in European legislation.
“I was part of progressive, cross-party coalition which pushed amendments to strengthen this proposal, and counted on the efforts of many colleagues such as my Dublin counterpart, Lynn Boylan, and the UK’s Rory Palmer.
“It is unconscionable to see cornerstone of those efforts scuppered by the commodifying mentality that, in Ireland, cost us millions in consultant fees that could have gone to works on atrocious leakage rates.”