The S&D Group in the European Parliament is co-hosting - together with the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), the Party of European Socialists and the City of Vienna - a series of online events from 25 to 29 January 2021 to put housing at the top of the agenda for recovery. Iratxe García Pérez, S&D Group leader, will intervene at the opening and the closing of the weeks’ events.
Speakers include: Frans Timmermans, Executive vice-president of the European Commission; Leilani Farha, Former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing and Global Director of The Shift; Agnes Jongerius, S&D member of the European Parliament; Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon and PES Group member; Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and former Chair, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University; and many others.
Iratxe García Pérez, S&D Group leader said:
“Access to decent and affordable housing is a human right. It is enshrined in the European Social Charter, but so far, we have not been able to deliver. We must legislate and incentivise social housing. That is why Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament are fighting to change the European Semester to include social spending as a golden rule. It is difficult to explain why we have established a percentage of 37% of the Recovery Fund to be spent on the Green Deal and 20% in the digital economy, whereas there is no obligation to invest in people. Together, the Progressives, we can change this!”
Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines (France), said:
“Housing is a fundamental right but is far from being a reality in the EU today, especially after the Covid-19 crisis. Housing is also key to achieve the European Green Deal objectives. This is why we call for a European Deal for Housing and we want to make sure that every town, city and region is part of - and an actor in - this process. I am proud the progressive family, from the local to the national and European levels, is uniting behind this common fight.”
PES President Sergei Stanishev said:
“Our political family, across Europe, is fighting for everyone’s right to live in dignity, in a good environment, in decent homes. This is a priority for socialists and democrats, as this event proves. We will keep pushing for an EU where good quality, sustainable and affordable housing is guaranteed for all.”
Michael Ludwig, Mayor of Vienna and member of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions, said:
“Housing policy has to be deeply rooted in local communities, and it needs to protect our citizens - not only, but obviously also in times of a crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has clearly depicted that strong intervention is highly needed to prevent evictions and make homes a safe place. However, we - the cities and regions of Europe - need the EU to protect our citizens from global developments that harm our housing markets, such as financialisation, touristification and money laundering. We also need a clear vision that housing is a right, not a commodity, and that public investment in new and better homes has to contribute to social cohesion and common wellbeing as much as to combatting climate change.”
László Andor, FEPS Secretary General, said:
“The European Union can support the improvement of housing conditions through investments from the European Structural and Investment Funds, the InvestEU fund, and loans from the EIB. The Green New Deal, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and the Urban Agenda are there to show the way to sustainable solutions. In addition, better financial sector regulation has to ensure that families do not fall victim of speculative or fraudulent housing loan schemes.”
Note to the editors:
In October 2020, the PES Group led a call signed by over 100 local, national and European leaders for a “European Deal for Housing” as part of Europe’s long-term recovery strategy.
S&D Group | Victoria Martin de la Torre, S&D Group President’s spokesperson, firstname.lastname@example.org +32 473 23 41 73.