[Contribution by Jerry van den Berge, ABVAKABO FNV] - At the European Social Forum (ESF), twelve European unions that organise workers in water companies will meet to discuss how to prevent privatisation of water companies. Among them are ABVAKABO FNV (Netherlands), Ver.di (Germany), Fagforbundet (Norway) and CGIL (Italy). They will do this in a (union only) meeting at the Malmo Water company (VASYD), organised by Swedish union Kommunal and at a workshop together with several NGO's united in the "Reclaiming Pubic Water"-network.
This seminar focuses on how to strengthen the resistance to the intensifying push by EU institutions and governments for privatising and commercialising water supply in Europe. Activists, unionists and public water managers will present examples of successful progressive public management from across Europe as well as campaigns that promote such models as alternatives to privatisation.
A third seminar in which unions participate is aimed at influencing the World Water Forum to be held in Istanbul 2009 and a fourth one to build a European Water Network to join forces between all water activists to promote the right to water, participatory public water management and public-public-partnerships and to stop a further push for privatisation of water.