The Green Party has launched an initiative in the parliament of the Republic of Serbia to protect drinking water under the Constitution.
The Green Party recently presented a five-point plan for the “unchecked surge of small hydropower plants (SHPPs)”. The plan’s key point is to protect drinking water under the Constitution and in the meantime introduce a moratorium on the construction of SHPPs.
The initiative was officially launched by Goran Čabradi, the Green Party leader and an MP.
At a time when one after another river is “occupied” by investors in order to build small hydropower plants (SHPPs), the Green Party insists that drinking water be protected under the Constitution, Čabradi said, adding that drinking water is becoming an increasingly limited resource on the planet and that no one in Serbia has the right to act irresponsibly and jeopardize a common good that needs to be preserved for the future.
He urged other MPs to support this initiative in order for Serbia to join other EU countries that have protected water under the Constitution.
The Green Party has already submitted several draft laws including one that introduces a moratorium on the construction of SHPPs and on the establishment of a commission to review all small hydropower facilities built so far, but these proposals have yet to reach the parliament’s agenda.
In December last year, the Consumer Protection Center Forum from Niš launched a civil initiative to declare the right to water a basic human right under the Constitution.
In the EU, three Member States have launched initiatives to declare water a human right under the constitution, but only former Yugoslav republic Slovenia adopted this proposal.
In the last several months, the region is witness to a growing number of voices coming from the civil initiatives and academia saying that water must be treated as a basic human right.