European institutions, EU governments and civil society have committed to working together towards combatting homelessness in the EU.
Combatting homelessness – a priority for Social Europe
At the high-level conference in Lisbon co-organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU on 21 June 2021 national ministers as well as representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions, civil society organisations (Feantsa, the Social Platform, Housing Europe, Social Economy Europe), social partners (ETUC, SGI Europe) and cities (Eurocities, CEMR) signed the Lisbon Declaration on the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness and launched the European Platform On Combatting Homelessness.
The signatories pledged to work together under the umbrella of the Platform and to deliver actions within their respective competences. They agreed on the following objectives:
- no one sleeps rough for lack of accessible, safe and appropriate emergency accommodation
- no one lives in emergency or transitional accommodation longer than is required for successful move-on to a permanent housing solution
- no one is discharged from any institution (e.g. prison, hospital, care facility) without an offer of appropriate housing
- evictions should be prevented whenever possible and no one is evicted without assistance for an appropriate housing solution, when needed
- no one is discriminated due to their homelessness status
The launch of the Platform is the beginning of a collaborative process to ensure concrete progress in Member States in the fight against homelessness. All stakeholders have committed to renewing their efforts in fighting homelessness, notably by reinforcing prevention and implementing integrated, housing-led approaches that seek to end, not simply manage, homelessness. The Platform, through supporting mutual learning for policy-makers and practitioners, will contribute to harness EU funding possibilities, strengthen evidence and monitoring on homelessness, disseminate and promote good practices, and review progress towards ending homelessness across the EU.
The Platform is also a concrete deliverable of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan to implement Principle 19 on Housing and assistance to the homeless.