Recently, under President Juncker, the EU Commission introduced the European Pillar of Social Rights as one of their prioritised policy areas. The European Pillar of Social Rights is intended as a key response to the aftermath of the financial crisis and as an update of the European social model in the light of a changing labour market. The Pillar is meant to stimulate the reduction of poverty and social exclusion through adequate social protection, and to support labour market access and well-functioning welfare systems:
The Pillar sets out essential principles around three main axes: 1) Equal opportunities and access to the labour market 2) 2) Fair working conditions 3) 3) Adequate and sustainable social protection. In this third axis, housing is explicitly mentioned. The European Pillar of Social Rights will assess harmful trends regarding social protection. On this basis, it will set out priorities for future social action. IUT contributed with a statement to the ongoing consultation of the EU commission and will continue to follow the next steps, as the pillar is likely to become an important reference framework for social reform in the member states.
Paragraph 19 of the Social Pillar states:
“Housing and assistance for the homeless
a. Access to social housing or housing assistance of good quality shall be provided for those in need.
b. Vulnerable people have the right to appropriate assistance and protection against forced eviction.
c. Adequate shelter and services shall be provided to the homeless in order to promote their social inclusion. ”