Alternatives to privatisation and commercialisation of water delivery in Europe

07 January 2008 - Event
07 January 2008 to 08 January 2008
VENUE: Scotland House, Rond-Pont Schuman 6, Brussels There will be English-French translation throughout the seminar. Public water delivery in Europe is seriously threatened, not only by privatisation, but also by commercialisation, outsourcing and other problematic trends that rapidly undermine the 'publicness' of public water delivery. With the seminar on 7-8 January, co-hosted by the Reclaiming Public Water Network and the Public Interest Research Network (with support from the European Federation of Public Service Unions - EPSU), we want to focus on the nature of public water delivery in Europe today as well as on the question how to reclaim public water in Europe through democratisation and other progressive reforms. We are inviting more than 35 water activists, unionists, academics and public water managers from across Europe, hoping that the seminar will substantially contribute to strenghtening campaigning and research networks for defending and reclaiming public water in Europe. Among the key themes of the seminar will be: - conceptual discussion of the state of (public) water delivery in Europe - the role of the EU in the neoliberal transformation of the water sector in Europe - developing an alternative agenda for water delivery and water governance (remunicipalisation , democratisation and other progressive reforms, public-public partnerships, etc.) - campaigns against commercialisation of water delivery and for reclaiming public water
Seminar Programme Monday 7 January
0900 – 1100 Welcome plenary Welcome Jan-Willem Goudriaan (EPSU) and Tommy Kane (PIRG, Strathclyde University) * Introduction round (discussion of expectations, outputs from seminar) * Summarising the scope of seminar (issues, outputs etc) * Warm-up discussion on general principles and structures of ‘publicness’ – what do we mean by “public water”in Europe. Speakers/discussants: Phillip Terhorst and others 1100 – 1130 Coffee Break 1130 – 1300 New trends in privatisation and commercialisation of water delivery in Europe * Commercialisation of public water companies in Scotland, Sweden and elsewhere * New forms of privatisation in Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey and elsewhere 1300 – 1400 Lunch Break 1400 – 1530 Plenary: the role of the EU institutions * The role of EU policies and funding for the water sector * The neo-liberal agenda and the Washington Consensus 1530 – 1545 Coffee Break 1545 – 1700 Turning the tide – initiatives to replace privatisation with genuinely public water management (first round) * The Italian campaign for a moratorium on privatisation * Aqua public Europea – the new federation of public water utilities Monday evening: Dinner at restaurant in downtown Brussels
Tuesday 8 January
0900 – 1030 Turning the tide – initiatives to replace privatisation with genuinely public water management (second round) * The French movement for remunicipalisation * Presentation of the ‘Water Remunicipalisation Tracker’ 1030 – 10.45 Coffee Break 1045 – 1200 Successful progressive water management reforms in Europe * Sustainable public management covering the whole water cycle: the case of Amsterdam * Towards participatory water management in the province of Seville 1200 – 1330 Developing an alternative vision for Europe * Reflecting on insights from earlier discussions to discuss alternatives and how to enact them 1330 – 1430 Lunch 1430 – 1600 Developing work plans and strategies Smaller groups to discuss issues including: - strategies towards the World Water Forum (Istanbul, March 2009) - joint action to advance remunicipalisation in Europe - progressive public water management & public-public partnerships - collective research projects 1600 – 16.15 Coffee Break 1615 – 18.30 Closing Plenary * Feedback from workshop groups * Develop follow-plans for RPWN in Europe and more generally pan-European movement-building * Closing remarks
For more information about the Reclaiming Public Water Network, see: About the Public Interest Research Network: About the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU):