14 February 2018
Last Updated: 15 February 2018
by Giacomo MANCA

Report from Major Mike Stannett

Last December, the EU Office of the Salvation Army drafted a common letter with Eurodiaconia and FEANTSA, to the European Commission, welcoming recent commitments made to addressing homelessness in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda as well as the newly adopted Pillar of Social Rights. The letter stressed the opportunity to address homelessness in the post 2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU’s long term spending plan. The letter called on the European Union to turn political commitments into action by ensuring that future financial instruments designed to support solidarity and cohesion reach the most deprived, notably homeless people. 

On Friday 26th of January, the European Commissioner for Employment, social affairs , skills and Labour mobility agreed that representatives from our thee organisations could meet with Expert Cabinet member Baudouin Baudru, particularly in charge of the MFF.

Eurodiaconia and FEANTSA took the lead on discussing the wider issues as they related to EU policy and EU funding frame work. The Salvation Army spoke more particularly in regards to the obvious significant increase in visible homeless and people living on the streets and also the rights undocumented migrants to access basic services. It is crucial for the future of EU funding and the delivery of the new European Pillar of Social Rights to focus explicitely on these issues and avoid covering them with generalised programmes where they would risk to get lost or overlooked .

Will the EU change its attitude towards austerity and the human rights issues as they relate to the people living on the very edges of society? I believe the pressure is mounting , that the price that those living in extreme poverty with no effective way to find inclusion is too high and that member states governments and the EU are beginning slowly to recognise it can't go on like this. 

The meeting with European Commission concluded with a request for realistic proposals from the delegation and the opportunity for further meetings.
The EU Affair Office will keep you updated with any further developments.

To Read the full text of the letter sent, please, click HERE

Tags: Europe