Freek Spinnewijn, FEANTSA Director
Last year we launched FEANTSA’s first campaign for five years – the Be Fair, Europe – Stand Up for Homeless People campaign, which aims to put homelessness at the heart of the EU’s 2030 agenda.
With the launch of the UN 2030 Agenda in 2016, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which form part of this agenda, there is a clear momentum at global level towards taking renewed action to eradicate poverty. The European Union played an important part in designing these goals, and is now in the process of drawing up its own 2030 Agenda, which it has declared will ‘leave no one behind.’ Through the Be Fair, Europe – Stand Up for Homeless People campaign, FEANTSA is aiming to lobby the EU and its Member States to include a clear priority in this agenda to end homelessness by 2030.
When we launched the campaign last March, we published a campaign manifesto which contains five actions the EU institutions, Member States and other stakeholders can take to have a real impact on homelessness in Europe:
- Make more effective use of existing policy instruments
- Support homeless people in all relevant sectoral policies
- Monitor homelessness and benchmarking progress at Member State level
- Defend the rights of homeless people
- Invest EU funds in ending homelessness
Through these actions, we believe that the European Union can take serious steps towards eradicating homelessness in Europe.
We also published a series of Roadmaps throughout the year which take a practical look at what can be done to tackle homelessness through the EU’s Youth Policy, Migration and Asylum Policy and Urban Agenda. More will be published in 2018.
Also under the auspices of the campaign, we held the first ever FEANTSA Ending Homelessness Awards which rewarded innovative projects making use of EU funding to help end homelessness. We were asked to host these awards during the European Week of Regions and Cities, which is one of the most important events in the EU calendar, and the first prize was handed out by European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu. This is something we would like to repeat in 2018.
Commissioner Creţu was also interviewed alongside European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen, by the International Network of Street Papers, with whom we partnered up to put questions to EU policy-makers about what they can do to fight homelessness in Europe. More interviews are planned later in the year.
Plans are now in motion for 2018, and we are hopeful that we can keep the momentum going and do more to make our manifesto demands heard by EU policy-makers, national governments and other stakeholders. To our partners and supporters around Europe, watch this space, as we will soon be calling on you to collaborate with us.
Be Fair, Europe – Stand Up for Homeless People.