Un communiqué de presse de l’intergroupe “Extrême pauvreté et droits de l’homme”, relatif à la stratégie de l’Union européenne pour les personnes sans-abris
The “Extreme Poverty and Human Right, Fourth World Committee”Intergroup is delighted that the crucial issue of homelessness in the European Union
was discussed in the European Parliament plenary on 16th January 2014.
The intergroup members whole heartedly support calls for the European Union to use the tools available to it to focus,in every way possible,on reducing, preventing and ultimately eradicating homelessness and social exclusion, problems which over recent years affect an increasing number of citizens in the European Union. At a time when citizens are looking to the EU for answers to their very real problems and suffering, it is essential that every tool is
harnessed to alleviate the problems of homelessness and social exclusion.
There is shared responsibility for this issue; Member States and regional and local authorities all have crucial roles to play, from including the issue in their National Reform Programmes, developing affordable housing policies to exchanging best practices. However, the European Union must also contribute,as illustrated by the EU 2020 Strategy which placed fighting poverty and social exclusion and reducing the number of European citizens at risk of poverty by 20 million as one of the five priorities of the Union. An EU Homelessness Strategy would be a welcome contribution to this priority.This is an issue which affects all Member States and citizen’s fundamental rights. “Access to housing and non-discrimination are basic rights,as stated in articles 21and 34of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,and all EU citizens must be able to participate in society. This is not solely an issue for the MemberStates;given the severity of the situation,it is essential that the European Commission seizes this opportunity to launch an EU homelessness strategy and to increasingly focus on issues of social exclusion in the European Semester and National Reform Programmes. Europe’scitizens, especially those living in mobile homes, are waiting for this”,explains Intergroup President Sylvie Goulard.
A serious problem in many Member States is the current severe lack of affordable and appropriate housing, be it social or private, as Jürgen Klute, Vice President of the intergroup highlights:”This is of great concern, as the numbers of homeless people increase there can be little hope of the situation improving while rents remain prohibitively high and demand significantly out strips supply. It is very difficult for Europe’s most deprived to apply for jobs and to go to interviews without having access to affordable and quality housing.”
The intergroup will continue to monitor this issue closely and it will be discussed in one of the workshops of the ATD Fourth World People’s University, which will take place in the European Parliament on 5th March
Sylvie Goulard, President,(ALDE, France) Silvia Costa, Vice-President, (S&D,Italy) Jürgen Klute, Vice-President, (GUE, Germany) Jean Lambert, Vice-President,(Greens, UK)
Veronica Lope-Fontagné, Vice-President, (EPP,Spain)