Water justice and Europe’s Right2Water movement

Jerry van den Berge*, Jeroen Vos, Rutgerd Boelens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In 2013 the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ‘Right2Water’ collected 1.9 million signatures across Europe against water privatization. It became the first ever successful ECI and has built a Europe-wide movement. Right2Water sought for Europe’s legal enforcement of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation (HRWS) as a strategic political tool to challenge European Union market policies. The paper examines the ECI from a social movement perspective. Although the European Commission subscribed that ‘water is a public good, not a commodity’, its implementation is subject to continuing politics and socio-political struggle, with growing urgency in times of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Water Resources Development
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2021


  • Covid-19
  • European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)
  • European Commission
  • Human Right to Water
  • privatization
  • social movement


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