A coordinator of the Public Alternative project in Transnational Institute (TNI) in Amsterdam. Satoko has coordinated Reclaiming Public Water Network since 2005. The Public Sector Alternatives project works to build a strong countervailing force that reverses privatisation and helps construct democratic, and accountable public services. Her latest edited book is Our Public Water Future: The global experience with remunicipalisation (2015).
Remunicipalisation in water sector showed Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) brought social, environmental and financial unsustainability around the world. Remunicipalisation is often a collective response to the failures of water privatisation and PPPs. In the past 15 years there have been at least 235 cases of water remunicipalisation in 37 countries, affecting more than 100 million people. The pace is growing fast and there is an expanding international movement in favour of publicly-owned and publicly-managed water. Despite growing evidence failure, promotion of privatisation and PPPs has remained strong as a solution for financing public services and infrastructure. Local authorities are facing a major challenge in how to finance public services and infrastructure without entering into PPPs and other neoliberal options. So there is a need to offer concrete alternative strategies. Cost saving for local authorities, increasing investment in expanding services are commonly seen as a result of remunicipalisation. Moreover, many cases in Spain and elsewhere demonstrate that remunicipalisation offers a chance to reinvent public services as commons and to facilitate democratisation. The remunicipalisation trend are observed in other essential services such as energy, waste collection, transport, social and health care in Europe and beyond. Based on our new research on remunicipalisation in public services, I would like to share emerging strategies such as worker/citizen-led cooperatives taking over from profit-driven services providers and creation of new public energy company for energy transition.