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”
Our correspondence with Pr. Anne Glover, the current Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission (CSA), on her role in the European Commission's review of endocrine disrupting chemicals shows how the very existence of her position was used by business-friendly interests to convey key messages to the top of the European Commission's hierarchy, playing a determining role in the massive delay now inflicted to the European Commission's handling of this important public health regulation. We ask that the CSA position is not renewed in the new Juncker Commission.
Will EFSA become more transparent, and to lobbyists or scientists? After its public consultation on its draft transparency policy, the Authority must now choose.
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today criticised the plenary vote of MEPs to approve the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission.
A crusade for big business-friendly deregulation, waged during José Manuel Barroso's Presidency of the European Commission, shows no signs of stopping. This neoliberal push to weaken or block new legislation and scrap existing rules, especially environmental and social protection laws, under the misleading banner of tackling “red tape”, promoting “better regulation” or safeguarding “competitiveness” appears likely to expand with Jean-Claude Juncker's new Commission team.

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