A decade on from the 2007-08 global financial crisis, the majority of private banks have changed very little. Most remain solely concerned with maximising their returns, while sustainable or social goals remain subservient to this. For conventional economists, anything else remains an impossible or distant dream.
Spain maybe on the edge of a remunicipalisation renaissance, with all the relevant legal, financial and technical issues attracting surprisingly intense interest throughout the state. These trends in Spain provide inspiring examples for other countries too, in Europe and worldwide. On 1st December Barcelona City Council organised a remarkable conference on the topic.
We commemorate World Water Day 2015 by celebrating the struggles and victories of the global water justice movements. These achievements are a testament to the strength of our ties of solidarity and the resolve of communities to protect watersheds and maintain control over water services.
In the last 15 years there have been at least 180 cases of water remunicipalisation in 35 countries, both in the global North and South, including high profile cases in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
The largest Public-Private Partnership in water sector in Germany ended in 2013 after the longstanding social mobilisation. Remunicipalisation cost a high price for the city of Berlin though. Berliners have striven for new challenges.
Despite large aid support, Ghana's privatised water utility AVRL consistently failed to meet its contractual commitments. Water is now back in state hands, but it will need increased investment and a vigilant civil society to deliver the services Ghanaians need.
Already subjected to the consequences of the European and Greek debt crisis and the resulting austerity measures, privatisation will continue to hit Thessaloniki hard. In a referendum the people voted overwhelmingly against water privatisation. While their struggle continues, they look upon the crisis as an opportunity to intensify the search for democratic alternatives.
Despite immense pressure by corporations that have sought to undermine it, Costa Rica's public energy and telecommunications company stands out as a model in terms of its coverage, efficiency, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
After decades of failed water privatisation, cities like Paris are starting to bring water back into public hands. Download this free 'must-read' book for policy makers and activists looking to democratise water services.
Experience worldwide shows that EC-imposed privatisation on crisis countries will not work. The alternative is not reinforcing the status quo, but using citizen power and labour to reinvigorate public services and democratically transform the state.
An international seminar in Montevideo, co-organised by TNI and the Uruguayan government, shared the latest learning and innovation by state-owned enterprises across Latin America and affirmed their importance as instruments for economic and social development.
The Transnational Institute (TNI), in cooperation with the Municipal Services Project (MSP) and the Latin American Programme for Distance Education in Social Sciences (PLED) is offering a free web-based course on Alternatives to Privatisation: Non-Commercial Public Services Options in the Global South. The course will begin on 8 October 2012 and will comprise a series of eight weekly sessions.
With protests, rallies and petitions, the message from the public has been clear: the water service in Jakarta should be re-municipalised, to save the water system from financial ruin and the water service from a profit-oriented private sector.