New water policy in Europe

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Jean-Claude Juncker has presented his new group of commissioners. If all goes well, it won’t be long before they will be installed in their prestigious jobs in the European Commission. What’s new? First of all, European Water and Environment is handed over from Janez Potočnik to Malthese politician Karmenu Vella. Which water issues we will be facing in the upcoming period? And what kind of political approaches are possible to tackle the most relevant issues? Water News Europe offers you an overview.

There is no official Parliamentarian Committee responsible for all water issues. Several of in the total 22 committees are dealing with different aspects of the topic. The Committee ‘Environment, Public Health and Food safety’ is dealing with the most important water issues. The Committees ‘Industry, research and energy’, ‘Internal market and Consumer protection’ and Agriculture and rural development’ also deal with water. Think about the Water Framework Directive, REACH, the use of biocides, privatization of drinking water companies and agricultural matters.

Political differences
According to their political preferences the 751 parliamentarians will try to influence new policy and directives. In Europe the conventional, national parties are gathered in the EPP. They do not have a particular eye for water issues and tend to treat it in a conventional way. The liberal parties, gathered in ALDE, 84 members, fear overregulation and believe in the benefit of the free market. The social democrats, gathered in Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D) plea for more regulations. The Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance wants strict regulations regarding water quality, health issues and they plea for public water companies.

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