“The European Union belongs to the people, and the people have voiced their concerns”, said Michel Dantin MEP, the lead negotiator for the European Parliament on the dossier on water quality, welcoming the intended changes to existing legislation on drinking water. “Any Citizens’ Initiative which gathers as much as 1.8 million signatures should not be overlooked”, he said.
Changes to the Drinking Water Directive to be adopted today aim to improve the quality of drinking water and access to it as well as provide better information to citizens.
Dantin stressed: “The EPP Group is convinced that access to quality water needs to continue to be economically viable and safe for everyone.”
“This debate is not a debate about who should and who should not have access to clean water. It goes without saying that everyone should have access to clean and good quality water, and we should do our utmost to make it as affordable as possible for everyone. Insisting that countries absorb the costs through their state budgets goes against existing country traditions, and is only a mirage because in the end, it is always the taxpayer that foots the bill”, he said.
The new legislative proposal which includes a series of measures that directly concern consumers, for instance providing clearer information on water consumption, the cost structure, the price per litre, amongst others, also forbids restaurants from charging customers for tap water.
The proposal on the table is the result of the first-ever successful European Citizens’ Initiative, called ‘Right2Water’. It gathered 1.8 million signatures in support of improving access to safe drinking water for all Europeans.