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Open AccessArticle

Civil Society and the Governance of Water Services: German Political Parties’ Reactions to Right2Water

by 1,2,* and 3
1
Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University, Bergheimer Straße 58, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
2
Heidelberg Center for the Environment, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 229, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
3
Animal Physiological Ecology, University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 5, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(3), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030743
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 19 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 March 2020 / Published: 8 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Attention and Water Governance: An Agenda-Setting Perspective)
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) Right2Water asked for guaranteed water quality and quantity all over Europe, and demanded that water services remain in the hands of public entities. Support for Right2Water was particularly pronounced in Germany. The German organisers managed to collect 16 times more signatures than the minimum necessary to be counted towards the quorum. How have the German political parties reacted to the overwhelming public support for Right2Water? To answer this question, we examined the election manifestos of the main political parties, published for the federal elections in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017, and the elections to the European Parliament in 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019. We concentrated on one specific goal of Right2Water, which refers to preventing the liberalisation of water services in the European Union. We expected the attention to and positioning of the liberalisation of water services to vary across the individual German parties. Since Right2Water was organised by public service trade unions and pursues an anti-liberalisation agenda, we expected left-wing parties to have laid a greater emphasis on this issue than right-wing parties, and for them to have adopted positions that aligned with the goals of the ECI. Our empirical findings show that a left–right division exists among the parties concerning the attention they paid to this issue as well as how they positioned themselves. View Full-Text
Keywords: Concessions Directive; European Citizens’ Initiative; European Union; Germany; liberalisation; political parties; privatisation; water services Concessions Directive; European Citizens’ Initiative; European Union; Germany; liberalisation; political parties; privatisation; water services
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tosun, J.; Triebskorn, R. Civil Society and the Governance of Water Services: German Political Parties’ Reactions to Right2Water. Water 2020, 12, 743. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030743

AMA Style

Tosun J, Triebskorn R. Civil Society and the Governance of Water Services: German Political Parties’ Reactions to Right2Water. Water. 2020; 12(3):743. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030743

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tosun, Jale; Triebskorn, Rita. 2020. "Civil Society and the Governance of Water Services: German Political Parties’ Reactions to Right2Water" Water 12, no. 3: 743. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030743

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