VA team joins FEANTSA in Gdansk for its Annual Policy Conference


May 23, 2017
23rd May 2017
Veterans Aid team joins FEANTSA in call for EU to be fair and stand up for homeless people (#BeFairEU) in Gdansk, Poland 18th-19th May 2017.

Over 350 people from the homeless sector and beyond gathered in the historic European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, Poland for the FEANTSA Annual Policy Conference, co-organised with St Brother Albert’s Aid Society and the City of Gdansk, to discuss how to end the current homelessness crisis in the European Union.

The diversity of the participants, from frontline service providers, academics and advocates to local, national and European policy-makers, was reflected in a packed programme, where participants debated topics as diverse as migration, housing, youth, rights, employment, health, EU funds, addiction, disability and gender.

CEO of Veterans Aid, Dr Hugh Milroy said, “Once again VA found FEANTSA conference hugely useful and informative. It is vital that we have a wider view of best practice and I can think of no better venue. We are immensely privileged to be a member of this elite group.”

“Juncker’s Commission has promised us a more social and fair European Union and yet it is struggling to convince citizens that it has a genuine social agenda, particularly since the 2008 crisis. By standing up for homeless people, the EU can change that. The European Commission has just launched a European Pillar of Social Rights with a strong focus on this issue. Now is the time for EU policymakers to work in partnership with national governments, regions and cities to put an end to homelessness,” said Freek Spinnewijn, FEANTSA Director.

Inadequate policies to tackle homelessness at the local, national and European level have left millions of people behind. A recent report published by FEANTSA and the Fondation Abbé Pierre has revealed rising homelessness across the majority of the European Union, as well as a dramatic picture of housing deprivation in almost all EU countries.

“As EU draws its 2030 strategy, it must match the ambition of the UN 2030 Agenda and use the instruments at its disposal to reach out to homeless people in order to fulfil its pledge to ‘leave no one behind’, said Ian Tiling, FEANTSA Vice-President.

FEANTSA’s new campaign: ‘Be Fair Europe – Stand Up For Homeless People’, calls upon EU policy-makers to work with national governments, regions, cities and stakeholders to put an end to homelessness by making more effective use of policy instruments; supporting homeless people in all relevant sectoral policies; monitoring homelessness and benchmarking progress at Member State level: defending the rights of homeless people and investing EU funds in ending homelessness.

Picture: CEO of Veterans Aid, Dr Hugh Milroy and Head of Administration & Company Secretary, Ms Natalia Dabrowska.

 

Ends

Notes to editor:

Veterans Aid is the only UK veterans’ charity with full membership of FEANTSA (The European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless), an NGO established in 1989 to prevent and alleviate the poverty and social exclusion of people threatened by or living in homelessness. It is the only major European network that focuses exclusively on homelessness.