Long Read
29 April 2019

European Parliament candidates show their support for water

With the upcoming EU selections on May 23, more and more Dutch European Parliament candidates pledge to stand up for the theme water if they are elected. Simavi asks them to become ambassador for the SDG6 – Water and Sanitation.

Sign of pledge

On the 30th of April an EU election debate was hold at Simavi, where European Parliament candidates were asked to sign a pledge. Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks) was the first one to sign; meanwhile several candidates from the Netherlands (among others D66, SP, GroenLinks) and surrounding countries have pledged their support. Present at the debate of April 30 were: Thijs Reuten (PvdA), Arnout Hoekstra – party leader of SP, prof. Dirk Jan Koch candidate for GroenLinks, Roy Ho Ten Soeng (50 Plus), Eva Akerboom (Partij voor de Dieren) and D66 candidate Samira Rafaela.


The European Union is together with the EU member states the biggest financial donor on water and sanitation provisions. However –¬† while the financial support for water and sanitation has to be tripled to meet the formulated goals in 2030 – the financial support is threatened to decrease. European NGO’s are working together to ask for the support of members of the European Parliament in all of the EU countries with their Standup4Water campaign, with a focus on the position of girls and women. This campaign is coordinated by Women for Water, WaterAid in Brussels and European Pact for Water. Simavi is the Dutch initiator for the call Standup4water.

People die due to lack of water and sanitation

There are worldwide 2,3 billion people who lack normal sanitation like a toilet. With the absence of sanitation, drinking water can be seriously contaminated, which causes illnesses or even death.

“It is important that members of the European Parliament are committed to make sure that there will be no cuts in the EU budget for the years 2021-2027 and years to come for water and sanitation.”
– Arriete Brouwer, managing director Simavi

Due to the unnecessary lack of water and sanitation provisions, almost 1.000 kids die each day of diarrhea. It has especially a big impact on the lives of women and children. Good sanitary provisions on schools positively contributes to girls’ school attendance, also when they are menstruating. This has a positive impact for girls and women: they have a bigger economic independence and are having children at a later age. A toilet also makes sure that women and girls are safe and not harassed when making a sanitary stop outside.

The pledge has been signed by the following party leaders:

  • Bas Eickhout¬† – GroenLinks
  • Arnout Hoekstra – SP
  • Sophie in ‘t Veld – D66
  • Anja Hazekamp – Partij voor de Dieren

Other candidates who have signed the pledge:

  • Thijs Reuten – PvdA
  • Samira Rafaela – D66
  • Bastiaan Winckel – D66
  • Roy Ho Ten Soeng – 50Plus
  • Eva Akerboom – Partij voor de Dieren
  • Falco van Hassel – Partij voor de Dieren
  • Sabine Klok – GroenLinks
  • Eline van Nistelrooij – GroenLinks
  • Jeroni Vergeer – GroenLinks
  • Kim van Sparrentak – GroenLinks
  • Dirk Jan Koch – GroenLinks
  • Claudia Hofemann – GroenLinks

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