The European Commission proposed in February a revision of the EU drinking water Directive which, among others, would ask Member States to encourage restaurants to provide free tap-water.
HOTREC positioned itself quite early in the discussions in the European Parliament, advocating for keeping the wording as a simple encouragement (no EU obligations on restaurants) while restricting the scope of application to restaurants’ customers only and preserving the possibility to charge a service fee. The Committee in charge in the European Parliament (ENVI) has actually just adopted its report on the Commission proposal. The discussions in the ENVI Committee were quite difficult, as many MEPs initially wanted to strengthen further the Commission text concerning tap water in restaurants.
Nevertheless, we are glad to announce you that, the ENVI has adopted a crucial amendment (supported by the EPP, ALDE, ECR groups and the rapporteur MEP Michel Dantin) which basically contains all main HOTREC requests. The amendment would read as follows (the amendment is in bold/italics): “Member States shall take measures such as: encouraging the provision of such water for free or for a low service fee, for customers in restaurants, canteens, and catering services”.
The ENVI report will now be submitted to the European Parliament plenary session in October for adoption, and in order to allow for the European Parliament to initiate trilogue discussions with the Council before the end of the year.