FEANTSA 2015 Policy Conference
19th June 2015: 300 Experts Connect Communities to Europe and Combat Homelessness
The European Commission stepped up efforts in 2013 by publishing policy guidance to support Member States in their actions to confront homelessness, and programmes targeting homeless people are now eligible under the new European Structural and Investment Funds and under the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived. The European Parliament has twice called for an EU homelessness strategy (in 2011 and 2014), and the EU Committee of the Regions reiterated this call end of June 2014.
Social Europe consists of two fundamental dimensions: 1. The European political arena in Brussels with all its institutional and non-institutional players pushing the EU social agenda 2. The transnational political arena which spans 28 EU countries and neighbouring countries, regularly bringing together social practitioners to exchange innovative policies/practices. Funded mostly by the European Commission, FEANTSA’s key objective is to tackle and prevent homelessness, working in both these arenas to promote the rights of people experiencing homelessness.
There are currently two new emerging trends: on the one hand, the new European Commission (which started a 5-year mandate on 1st November 2014) wishes to get closer to local communities and citizens, to show the relevance of its work in their daily lives; on the other hand, experts in the field of homelessness (people with experience of homelessness, social workers, researchers, national/regional civil servants, local policy-makers and others) are increasingly interested in Brussels and neighbouring countries, always on the lookout for solutions and innovation.
FEANTSA is a European network which knows well these two (sub)national and European realities, and we would like our 2015 conference to link these two worlds in order to create new synergies.
Objectives of the 2015 conference
1. Support policy and practice in the field of homelessness, with a focus on social service/policy innovation, helping practitioners to learn from other EU countries.
2. Link local realities to different European policy/legal frameworks, demonstrating where synergies exist already and reflect on potential synergies.
3. Provide space for the emergence of new transnational dynamics through organised networking hotspots.
Participants in our 2015 conference were therefore able to collect good practice and better understand the impact of Europe on their daily work.
Workshop session I: Understanding the links between Europe and its communities
*Europe2020 and the social investment package: converting European recommendations into national homelessness strategies
The review of the Finnish strategy to end long-term homelessness: facts, findings, future
Juha Kaakinen, Y-Foundation, Finland
Developing national-level guidelines to reduce homelessness – using European Funds as a leverage for change
Raffaele Tangorra, Ministry of labour and social affairs, Italy
*EU structural and investment funds – a genuine channel for supporting inclusion pathways for homeless people?
From exclusion to employment: a model for “impossible to reach” groups under the European Social Fund
Sian Tomos, GISDA, Wales, UK
Key steps to making the European Regional Development Fund relevant for housing homeless people
Michele Trabucco, Caritas Venice, Italy
*Diversity of public financing models for homeless services across Europe: still a reality, still the future?
Preserving diversity of homeless service funding with the transposition of the revised EU public procurement directive
Michel Mercadié and Samuel Le Floch, FNARS, France
Public procurement threatening diversity of homeless services among NGO service providers?
Kjell Larsson, Gothenburg City Mission, Sweden
*EU free movement of citizens and homelessness: new challenges and new opportunities
Cooperation strategies between Poland and the UK to support inclusion of homeless EU citizens
Agnieszka Grzelka, Monar, Poland
Access to social benefits for economically active and inactive EU citizens – the impact of recent European Court of Justice decisions
Herwig Verschueren, University of Antwerp, Belgium
*Using international legal instruments to drive changes at local level
The Revised Social Charter of the Council of Europe – the right to housing from words to action in local courts
Pim Fischer and Joris Sprakel, Fischer Advocaten, The Netherlands
Using international jurisprudence to advocate for better rights-based policies
Regis Brillat, Council of Europe
*Leaving nobody behind - is the European youth guarantee an opportunity for homeless youth?
Pushing for a youth housing guarantee to facilitate access to employment and training for vulnerable youth
Minnis Vierikko, Youth Housing Association, Finland
The right to after-care guarantee for youth leaving State care – local pilots in a European perspective
Stefaan Vanmulders, Flemish agency for youth welfare, Belgium
Workshop session II: Communities as a starting point to create new European dynamics
*Promoting links between the homelessness sector and the domestic violence sector to find long-term housing solutions – can Europe support cross-sector cooperation?
Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Raising awareness of women’s homelessness, domestic violence and trauma
Anna Page and Ambreen (Mimi) Butt, St Mungo’s Broadway, UK
Housing solutions for victims of domestic violence: a reflection on current gaps and needs which need to be addressed in the future
Rosa Logar, Women Against Violence Europe, Austria
*Bridging data gaps on homelessness - from local systems to a Europe-wide system?
Using both national surveys and client record systems to support policy-making and monitoring
Lars Benjaminsen, SFI research institute, Denmark
Local/regional homelessness surveys and building bridges with national/European measurement systems
Andrea Szabó, Habitat for Humanity Hungary, Hungary
*Promoting inclusive housing markets – is there a role for Europe?
Ireland’s Social Housing Strategy – affordable homes in sustainable communities
Bairbre NicAongusa, Department for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Ireland
The state of housing markets in France and their impact on homelessness
Manuel Domergue, Fondation Abbé Pierre, France
*Ending rough sleeping in Europe’s cities – is a European alliance possible?
Rights-based local strategies to reach zero rough sleepers: the experience of Odense
Tom Rønning, Odense local council, Denmark
Criminalisation of homeless people to end rough sleeping – tackling negative legislation and attitudes
Sonia Olea Ferreras, Caritas España, Spain
*Healthcare systems and homelessness in a context of austerity and budget cuts – will Europe ensure access to health for all?
Cause and effect: Mental health budget cuts and the impact on homelessness
Panagiota Fitsiou, Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health, Greece
Care navigators to accompany homeless people – ensuring a continuum of care from entry to safe discharge from hospital
Stan Burridge, Pathway, UK
*Housing First local experiments: step by step upscaling to the next level and perspectives for European cooperation
Key steps to mainstreaming Housing First principles in the wider local homelessness system
Björn Wäst, Helsinborg local council, Sweden
Joint evaluation of 9 Housing First local pilots with a view to national upscaling: key barriers and opportunities
Rick Henderson, Homeless LINK, UK
Questions? information feantsa.org
Paris City Hall Press Invitation