The European Parliament (EP) is the only directly-elected body of the European Union (EU). Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are elected once every five years across the 27 EU Member States and represent some 500 million citizens. The EP is involved in drafting numerous laws that have an impact on the daily life of European citizens. Its powers have increased steadily over the years and today the EP is firmly established as a co-legislator, has budgetary powers and exercises democratic controls over all the European institutions.
As the only directly-elected body of the EU, the EP has the political legitimacy to raise issues of concern and has its say on a number of topics ranging from the liberalisation of services, climate change, patient safety to asylum policy and budgetary matters. It has often shown consensus and political courage as concerns the respect and promotion of human rights within and outside the European Union.
FEANTSA monitors EP activities carefully and has often contributed to issues relevant to the fight against homelessness by sharing information and participating in seminars and meetings in a number of areas of interest.
See European Parliament website
European Parliament work on issues related to homelessness
On the 14th September 2011, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution calling for an EU homelessness strategy. With this Resolution (B7-0475/2011), adopted by a large majority, the European Parliament sends out a strong political message that homelessness is an urgent issue, on which the EU must step up its co-ordination and support of Member States’ policies. This requires building on previous work at EU-level in order to deliver an ambitious, integrated European homelessness strategy that can make concrete progress in the fight against homelessness. The Resolution calls for a specific focus on innovative ‘housing-led’ approaches, for links to the structural funds and for the agreement of a framework for monitoring and reporting on the development of national and regional homelessness strategies.
FEANTSA and a number of other European NGOs (AGE Platform Europe, ATD Fourth World, EAPN, Emmaüs Europe, ENAR, Eurochild, Eurodiaconia, European Federation of Food Banks, PICUM, Red Cross EU Office and SMES-Europa,) sent a joint letter to László Andor, EU Commissioner Responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and Koos Richelle, Head of EuropeAid, asking for them to encourage the European Commission to commit to supporting and facilitating an EU Homelessness Strategy.
On 16th December 2010, the European Parliament adopted a cross party Written declaration on an EU homelessness strategy, which had been launched by the following Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): Britta Thomsen (Denmark, S&D), Elizabeth Lynne (UK, ALDE), Ilda Figueiredo (Portugal, GUE/NGL), Karima Delli (France, Greens/EFA) and Jacek Protasiewicz (Poland, Christian Democrats). The declaration has been signed by a majority of MEPs representing all EU Member States.
FEANTSA has been actively supporting this initiative, together with its members and other European NGOs. To read a joint letter sent to MEPs by the 2010 NGO Coalition, please click here. If you are a FEANTSA member and would like to know more about it, click here. To read FEANTSA's press release on the adoption of the Written declaration, please see under "Press".
On 14 April 2010 an event entitled "Ending homelessness is possible! How can the EU effectively contribute to the fight against homelessness?" was co-organised by FEANTSA together with 5 MEPs and Projekt Udenfor at the European Parliament in Brussels. Speakers included Commissioner László Andor, MEPs and representatives from the Spanish and Belgian Presidencies.
On that occasion the involved MEPs signed a common statement on ending homelessness in view of further action (see French version). More information about the event is available here. To know more about FEANTSA's campaign on ending homelessness, click here.
In the course of the previous term (2004-2009), the European Parliament has adopted a number of initiatives which are relevant to the fight against homelessness and housing exclusion. For the first time ever, it also adopted a written declaration on ending street homelessness, which was signed by 438 MEP's from all political parties and European Member States.
See here for the Written Declaration on Ending Street Homelessness
There are a number of reports which have been adopted by the EP and are relevant to homelessness and severe exclusion, including:
Other reports which may be of interest:
Other initiatives of interest:
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