EUREAU was founded in Brussels in 1975 by the six founding countries of the European Union as a union of national associations of drinking water suppliers.
In the beginning, its main focus was on technical issues and in particular standardization. Over the years, the scope of EUREAU’s activities expanded along with the expansion of the EU institutions and their increasing powers. A milestone in this process was the introduction of the co-decision procedure which has given the European Parliament the power to stop new legislation. The EU attention to stakeholders’ engagement as a matter of good governance has also strengthened the legitimacy and role of EUREAU as representative body. In 1998, EUREAU merged with the European Waste Water Group and became the Euopean Federation of National Associations of Water and Waste Water Services.
Over time, EUREAU has progressively enlarged by the adhesion of associations of countries which joined the European Community. Also, the associations of countries member of the European Free Trade Association became members of EUREAU. The status of observer was granted to representative associations of countries in accession negotiations with the European Union. Nowadays, membership covers:
- 23 out of the 27 EU member countries (All but Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia)
- 2 EFTA countries (Norway and Switzerland)
- 2 Observer Members (Croatia and Serbia)
Today EUREAU is the voice of Europe’s drinking water and waste water service operators which collectively provide water services to more than 400 Million people and reflect the full diversity of the European water service industry across Europe.