Op-ed: EU leaders must take steps to limit cold, hunger, homelessness in Europe this winter
Households across the EU will struggle with energy, food and housing costs this winter. If inflation and particularly energy prices continue on their current course, many people will fall into poverty and destitution, unable to cover the essentials. Actions taken now could make a huge difference.
FEANTSA's deputy director Ruth Owen has written an op-ed for Euractiv, urging EU leaders to take appropriate preventive measures to limit cold, hunger and homelessness in Europe during the upcoming winter. The article provides an explanatory overview of the energy crisis and inflation that Europe is currently suffering through and notes what will surely ensue if suitable measures are not implemented by EU Member States and the European Commission. The author proposes concrete measures addressed to the member states and the European Commission to tackle this issue.
Member states should:
- Introduce temporary moratoria on evictions and repossessions
- Introduce emergency income support and other measures (tax breaks, price caps, social tariffs, rent controls) to enable households to cope
- Protect households, social and health services
- Provide adequate services to advise and support people affected by or at risk of cold, hunger and homelessness this winter
The European Commission should:
- Publish a detailed proposal for emergency intervention and structural reform of the EU energy market to reduce prices
- Propose emergency legislation for an EU-wide ban on the disconnection of water, energy, and digital services to primary residences because of the inability to pay
- Propose a new SURE-like (Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency instrument) instrument to help member states finance short term assistance to households facing arrears on utilities, rent or mortgage payments for their primary residence