The seminar will bring together 30-40 water activists, unionists, academics and public water managers, has the working title "Reconfiguration and alternatives to commercialisation of water delivery in Europe - examining successes and strategies for reclaiming public water through participation and democracy".
The working title reflects that the seminar is not intended to cover all issues around public versus private water supply in Europe (nor the role of the EU outside of Europe), but rather to focus on:
the nature of publicness in water supply in Europe today;
how publicness has been and is being undermined by commercialisation, outsourcing, etc; and
how to boost publicness through democratisation and other progressive reforms.
Specific issues will include threats like:
commercialisation (e.g. Scotland);
outsourcing (e.g. Stockholm Vatten);
global implications of restructuring of water delivery in Europe - undermining international solidarity co-operation (public-public partnerships, PUPs);
the role of the European Union.
Positive trends and opportunities like:
remunicipalisation (e.g. France);
the role of democratisation;
participatory planning in cities in Spain and Italy;
democratic management in Cordoba, Val de Marne (France);
proposals for renationalisation (UK);
campaigns democratisation of public water delivery;
positive international implications of remunicipalisation and progressive reforms of public water management (e.g. French and Italian utilities engaging in PUPs);
what can be learned from democratisation in the South?
(to read the report about the outcomes of the seminar, click here)
write to the Reclaiming Public Water Network for any suggestions for themes that should be added to the agenda as well as resource people and participants who should be invited to this event.