A dynamic housing policy as an element of European social cohesion
28 April 2004
Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mr Jacquat and others
This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it
1. Housing currently presents a major problem for society, to which politicians must turn their attention. Housing makes a key contribution to social cohesion and peace in our cities. The right to housing is also a fundamental social right and is recognised as such by the Council of Europe in its Revised Social Charter. Unfortunately only eight member states have accepted this undertaking.
2. Nearly all European cities, in both west and east, include zones of generally low rent public housing on the urban periphery that are often run down, have no shopping facilities and offer few employment opportunities. Some of them become dormitory areas or have large disadvantaged immigrant populations, and in the worst cases they become no-go areas providing a haven for all forms of trafficking.
3. Shanty towns, insecurity of tenure and homelessness, all of which were thought to have been eradicated, are rapidly re-establishing themselves. Rising rents and a shortage of dwellings are leading to a sharp increase in demand for social housing.
4. The whole of Europe faces almost identical challenges. What is needed is a concerted and dynamic policy to prevent the creation of ghettos and ensure a balanced population, establish employment opportunities in deprived areas, demolish or renovate run-down housing, introduce an aesthetic dimension to social housing, allow access to owner-occupied or rented accommodation without distinction, and so on.
5. This involves political choices that will affect the future of our society. Clearly they must be made with the participation of those concerned. The Parliamentary Assembly has a responsibility to debate this issue and propose guidelines and recommendations to the Committee of Ministers on how to respond to Europeans' demands.
Jacquat, France, EPP/CD
Belohorská, Slovakia, EDG
Berzin, Latvia, LDR
Colombier, France, EPP/CD
Cox, United Kingdom, SOC
Hancock, United Kingdom, LDR
Hladiy, Ukraine, EDG
Kovalev Y., Russia, EDG
McCafferty, United Kingdom, SOC
Monfils, Belgium, LDR
Naghdalyan, Armenia, LDR
Rauber, Germany, EPP/CD
Timmermans J., Belgium, SOC
Topalli, Albania, EPP/CD
Varvitsiotis, Greece, EPP/CD
Vis, United Kingdom, SOC
Group of the European Peoples Party
European Democratic Group
Liberal, Democratic and Reformers Group
Group of the Unified European Left
Not registered in a group