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Housing Europe supports the Semester Alliance

Intervention at the European Parliament Hearing

Brussels, 5 December 2014 | Published in Social

Housing Europe as a member of the Semester Alliance, attended the European Parliament hearing stressing the role of housing within the EU 2020 agenda.

The EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester, a broad coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions held a hearing in the European Parliament on December 3rd hosted by Jean Lambert MEP (Greens/EFA) and Marian Harkin (ALDE).

The hearing highlighted the missing voice of civil society in the debate on the revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and the urgent need to include them as key partners in the EU governance process known as the European Semester, at national and EU level.

Speaking at the event our Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards reminded that: 

‘for any sort of sort of sustainable economic growth, as a minimum people need to participate in the economy, to have purchasing power, to have access to education and to employment. For all of this, access to housing is a prerequisite.

Many countries, regions and cities in the EU are facing a growing need for affordable and social housing. Until now the Semester process we have noticed does not make reference to the over-burdening of housholds with ever increasing rent levels in the private sector in countries with a very low proportion of social housing.

Instead where there is a focus on housing from the European Commission, the tendency is to call for liberalisation of rents or a reduction in the proportion of social housing where the sectors are strongest. There is a need to address this incoherent approach and re-call that competence for housing policy lies with Member States. Housing Europe hopes that the New Commission’s commitment to a more socially balanced semester will correct this'