Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Remunicipalisation - Putting water back into public hands

Cities worldwide are taking back control of their collective water systems. The outcome of two years of research, this new book by Corporate Europe Observatory, Transnational Institute and the Municipal Services Project, the first ever published on the issue, examines the new trend for water ‘remunicipalisation’, analysing the causes of this new phenomenon and assessing its outcomes from a progressive public water management perspective. Case studies analyse the transition from private to public water provision in Paris, Dar es Salaam, Buenos Aires and Hamilton, and look at a national-level experiment in Malaysia. Showing the benefits and challenges of putting these systems back into municipal ownership, the book is a must-read for anyone interested in collective water management today.

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Cities worldwide are experiencing the failures of water privatisation. Unequal access, broken promises, environmental hazards and scandalous profit margins are prompting municipalities to take back control of this essential service. This new book from Corporate Europe Observatory, Transnational Institute and the Municipal Services Project examines this growing trend for water ‘remunicipalisation’.

Case studies analyse the transition from private to public water provision in Paris, Dar es Salaam, Buenos Aires and Hamilton, and look at a national-level experiment in Malaysia.

The journey toward better public water illustrates the benefits and challenges of municipal ownership, but the book also highlights the stranglehold of international financial institutions and the legacies of corporate control, putting water in the context of the larger debate about ‘alternatives to privatisation’ and drawing lessons from these experiences for future action in favour of public services. It is a must-read for policy makers and activists looking for concrete ways to democratise water services.

"Cities have been remunicipalising water for years, but finally we have a book that gives us a global perspective on this trend. It offers rich evidence of how public service providers outperform private water companies while at the same time pointing to the challenges that managers, policy makers and activists face in making water public again."  Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians

Cities worldwide are experiencing the failures of water privatisation. Unequal access, broken promises, environmental hazards and scandalous profit margins are prompting municipalities to take back control of this essential service. This new book from Corporate Europe Observatory, Transnational Institute and the Municipal Services Project examines this growing trend for water ‘remunicipalisation’.Case studies analyse the transition from private to public water provision in Paris, Dar es Salaam, Buenos Aires and Hamilton, and look at a national-level experiment in Malaysia.The journey toward better public water illustrates the benefits and challenges of municipal ownership, but the book also highlights the stranglehold of international financial institutions and the legacies of corporate control, putting water in the context of the larger debate about ‘alternatives to privatisation’ and drawing lessons from these experiences for future action in favour of public services. It is a must-read for policy makers and activists looking for concrete ways to democratise water services."Cities have been remunicipalising water for years, but finally we have a book that gives us a global perspective on this trend. It offers rich evidence of how public service providers outperform private water companies while at the same time pointing to the challenges that managers, policy makers and activists face in making water public again."  Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
 

The Kant Foundation has decided to grant its Weltbürger Prize 2014 (Citizen of the world prize) to the film-makers of the documentary “Water Makes Money”, Leslie Franke and Herdolor Lorenz, as well as to two protagonists featuring in the documentar

The concessions directive, which has the stated object of opening markets and eliminating “discrepancies among national regimes”, would end the exemption that has so far existed for drinking water supply and for the first time bring it under the rules of the EU’s single market.

Be it out of sheer ignorance or because it is serving narrow corporate interests, or both, the European Commission is pushing for water supply privatisation in Europe precisely when the business model that this policy wants to support is dying.
The European Commission is deliberately promoting privatization of water services as one of the conditions being imposed as part of bailouts, it has acknowledged in a letter to civil society groups.[1] EU Commissioner Olli Rehn's directorate was responding to questions posed in an open letter concerning the European Commission’s role in imposing privatisation through the Troika in Greece, Portugal and other countries.[2] The civil society groups have today written to Commissioner Rehn to demand that he “refrains from any further pressure to impose water privatisation conditionalities”
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today criticised the plenary vote of MEPs to approve the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission.
Attac Austria and Corporate Europe Observatory are today launching new 'wanted posters' about prospective members of the new European Commission, to expose details of their corporate backgrounds or other aspects of their careers which make them unsuitable to act as commissioner and promote the interests of 500 million European citizens.
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of freezing the budgets of the Commission's problematic advisory groups, formally known as Expert Groups. Surprisingly, this is the second time in four years that the Parliament has taken such a drastic step, after the Commission failed to tackle corporate domination within these influential groups (see graph below).
As part of her inquiry into the Commission's implementation of UN tobacco lobby rules, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has asked Commission President Barroso for “a supplementary opinion” with proper answers to questions raised in her inquiry. O'Reilly took this step after having received a seriously unconvincing letter from Barroso that fails to address the specific questions and arguments put forward by CEO in the complaint that sparked the Ombudsman's inquiry.

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