“If people do not have a degree of certainty about their future, of having a roof over their head, an income, assurance of safety in their neighbourhood there is no confidence and no sustainable growth. Current trends of reduced employment stability, evictions and ghettoization in our cities are detrimental for our societal development. We must make the link between people’s every day concerns and policy makers at national and EU levels. “
This was one of the key points raised by our new President Marc Calon during his visits to some of Housing Europe’s key partners on Wednesday and Thusrday, September 10-11, in Brussels.
Following a rather intense schedule, Marc first met with the Head of the EU Bureau of The International Union of Tenants (IUT), Barbara Steenbergen. IUT has always been a strategic partner for Housing Europe and over the last couple of years they have been running together alongside with Delphis the European Responsible Housing Initiative (ERHIN).
On Thursday morning after just a short ride with the lift, Marc visited Social Platform to hold a meeting with their President and Policy Officer, Heather Roy & Valentina Caimi. Housing Europe is a Member of the Social Platform which is the largest platform of European rights and value-based NGOs working in the social sector.
A few months before the big international conference on housing finance that Housing Europe organises in cooperation with Finance Watch, Marc Calon had the chance to meet the acting Secretary General of the organisation, Benoit Lallemand. For Housing Europe close collaboration with FW is essential, as the sector is part of the real economy with many countries having still problems to access finance.
Marc also met with the Director of Cooperatives Europe, Klaus Niederländer, among the issues discussed was our joint work on citizen owned energy cooperatives.
The Secretary General of the Energy Efficiency Coalition, Stefan Scheuer, also met with Marc Calon in the Housing Europe office. Energy policy will continue to be a priority of Housing Europe under the leadership of M.Calon
Marc also had a welcome opportunity to meet with MEP, Jan Olbrycht (EPP, Poland) who called for our continued support by asking MEPs to vote in favour for the continuation of the Urban Intergroup in the new European Parliament. MEP Olbrycht recognizes the horizontal nature of housing and the importance of this theme within the seminars and meets of the intergroup. He particularly highlighted the role of the Urban Intergroup in assuring a change in EU financial regulations to allow support for energy efficiency in housing but reminded that regulations are not enough and that we need to now check the impact of this move on the ground.