Homelessness and housing exclusion are on the increase in Europe. Millions of citizens are being left behind by inadequate policy responses, with knock-on effects on social cohesion and economic growth. The tools required to deal with these challenges already exist and the EU has a crucial role to play in finding solutions.
In 2010, the European Union committed to lifting 20 million people out of poverty by 2020. By the European Parliamentary elections in 2014, homelessness was rapidly increasing across the continent. Following the elections, FEANTSA called on the new Chairs of the European Parliamentary Groups, who had voted in favour of a Resolution on EU Homelessness Strategy in 2011, to use their new positions to follow-up on their calls and to act as catalysts in putting a strategic approach to end homelessness in place.
FEANTSA has long seen the European Parliament as a crucial ally in the fight against homelessness. The current mandate has seen a wide range of positive action by the Parliament in tackling homelessness. This report will survey the outputs of the EP in relation to homelessness and show the extent to which this is a cross-party issue.
Representatives from the four largest political groups have asked Written Questions, co-authored a Written Declaration and been the rapporteur for a Report which has related to homelessness. Indeed, what emerges from the report is that support for European action on homelessness is not a left versus right issue, but rather a question of pro-EU versus Euroscepticism.
MEPs have also organised a wide range of events and initiatives to support the fight against homelessness, as will be detailed further in the report. Such activities signal an intent by the European Parliament to tackle homelessness.
However, it is now vital that as the EU draws up its post-2020 agenda, the fight against homelessness is at the heart of the ambition for a social “triple A” with “no one left behind”. That is why this report will finish with 5 recommendations for action for the new 2019-2024 European Parliament.