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European Parliament Adopts Resolution on EU Homelessness Strategy

[European Federation of National Organisations Working With the Homeless, Brussels, 15 September 2011] 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.

FEANTSA welcomes the adoption of this Resolution. Freek Spinnewijn, FEANTSA Director, said that he hoped it would help the European Commission to make concrete progress towards developing an EU homelessness strategy in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy; the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion; and in line with the recommendations of the Jury of the European Consensus Conference on Homelessness. He particularly welcomed 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.

The motion for a Resolution was presented by MEPs Karima Delli (France, Greens/EFA) and Pervenche Berès (Belgium, S&D) on behalf of the EP Employment and Social Affairs Committee. Karima Delli said "Ending homelessness is possible and must be a trans-European priority. The EP has today sent a strong message to the other institutions to stop ignoring this core issue and to establish a European strategy to end homelessness by 2020”. The Resolution was preceded by an oral question for debate with the Commission (O-000153/2011) in which MEPs from across the political spectrum took the floor to call on the Commission to deliver an EU homelessness strategy.

This Resolution follows a cross-party Written Declaration on an EU Homelessness Strategy (61/2010) adopted in December 2010 and initiated by MEPs Britta Thomsen (Denmark, S&D), Liz Lynne (UK, ALDE), Ilda Figueiredo (Portugal, GUE/NGL), Karima Delli and Jacek Protasiewicz (Poland, Christian Democrats). The parliament also previously adopted a Written Declaration on Ending Street Homelessness in 2008.

FEANTSA congratulates the Parliament on its commitment to ending homelessness, which is a violation of human dignity and fundamental rights, and looks forward to further co-operation with the European Commission and other institutions in order to support follow-up of this Resolution.

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