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European Commission asks citizens about water

Staff writer |
The European Commission launched a public consultation on EU drinking water policy, to see where improvements could be made. The consultation is a concrete response to Right2Water, the first successful European Citizens' Initiative.

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Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "The supply of safe, good quality drinking water across the EU is a major achievement of EU legislation. But we have to look to the challenges ahead, and address the concerns raised in this European Citizens' Initiative. That means continuing the citizen-driven dialogue, and listening to the expectations of consumers and other stakeholders for EU drinking water legislation in the future."

Vice-President and Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration Maroš Šefčovič, who was responsible for creating the framework for European Citizens' Initiatives, said: "The conclusion of this first successful ECI, when the Commission set out how it intended to respond, was in fact just the start of the process. Now we are starting to deliver on our promises. This is further evidence of the real impact an ECI can have on European decision-making."

The consultation should provide us with a better understanding of citizens’ and stakeholders' views on the need for and possible range of actions that could be undertaken to improve the supply of high quality drinking water. The questions cover areas such as the current level of drinking water quality, the main threats to drinking water, the information needs of citizens, and possible additional actions that could be taken at EU level.

The consultation, which is available here, is open until 15 September 2014. The results will feed into a process of reflection on whether improvements might be needed to the EU Drinking Water Directive.

In addition to the consultation, the Commission will also soon launch a structured stakeholder dialogue looking at transparency in the water sector.

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