Neena Gill has launched a written declaration in the European Parliament in Brussels, calling for the European Union to form a strategy on homelessness and take action on the increase in homelessness.
Homelessness is an extreme form of poverty, violating human rights and has high societal costs, acting as a barrier to employment and other social rights; contributing to poor mental health, potentially leading to drug and alcohol misuse and widening health inequalities. This is why Neena Gill along with colleagues from other countries in the European Union has chosen to take action on this. They have co-authored a written declaration for MEPs to sign and indicate to the European Commission and Council once more that the European Parliament considers homelessness to be a serious issue in need of tackling.
Neena Gill stated “Homelessness is on the rise across many countries in the European Union, and as an MEP it is something I politically and personally need to take action upon. We should be fully using the relevant instruments that are available to us as European Institutions and make sure that funding is used wisely when it comes to tackling the punishing poverty that is homelessness.”
Gill further added “This is why in conjunction with FEANTSA and European colleagues I have authored this written declaration, so that it is incredibly clear that this topic is not just a topic, but people, and these people should be included in our plans on increasing and protecting our citizens’ welfare”.
Written declaration, under Rule 136 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, on an EU Homelessness Strategy
- Homelessness is increasing in most Member States, affecting several hundred thousand people daily. People experiencing homelessness are diverse – young people, families, migrants, survivors of domestic abuse and people with disabilities.
- Homelessness is an extreme form of poverty, violates human rights and has high societal costs, acting as a barrier to employment and social rights.
- The European Parliament has repeatedly called for an EU Homelessness Strategy, including in its resolutions of 14 September 2011 and 16 January 2014.
- The Council, EESC, and CoR have expressed the opinion that the EU can provide significant added value in helping Member States address homelessness.
- The EU’s poverty target and the actions designed to achieve it currently neglect homelessness. As an area of justice, fundamental rights and social fairness, the EU should rectify this situation as a matter of urgency and make homelessness a priority of its social agenda.
- The Commission is called upon to develop a homelessness action plan, taking due account of the principle of subsidiarity, containing measures including monitoring, knowledge development, mutual learning and transnational exchange, and making full use of relevant EU instruments and funding.
- This declaration, together with the names of the signatories, is forwarded to the Council and the Commission.
For the full, downloadable declaration, please click here.