Europe must do more on housing
More affordable homes will create a more cohesive Europe, Ministers from the PES said today as they threw their weight behind efforts to address the availability and cost of housing.
Convening to coordinate positions ahead of the General Affairs Council (Cohesion) in Luxembourg, the PES ministers agreed that effective cohesion policy must support European solidarity through job creation, the transition to a carbon neutral economy, and stronger social investment, and that investment in housing can support this.
This approach was front and centre in the PES European elections manifesto - A New Social Contract for Europe – which included a Plan for Affordable Housing.
Chairing the meeting, Minister Nelson De Souza, said:
“Addressing the availability and affordability of housing on one hand, and energy efficiency on the other, will enhance social cohesion, increase citizens’ purchase power and create construction jobs, whilst also contributing to the fight against climate change and tackling energy poverty. The shortage of affordable housing must be addressed, now is the time to act, to help citizens and to strengthen cohesion in Europe.”
Alongside affordable housing, the agenda for the ministerial meeting included discussion on the state of play of negotiations on Cohesion policy funds in the MFF, and the cohesion policy objectives for the Finnish Presidency of the Council. Finnish minister Tytti Tuppurainen, from the newly elected social democratic government, outlined Finland’s aims in the field of Cohesion policy.
The meeting was attended by:
- Nelson de Souza, Minister of Planning, Chair of the meeting, Portugal
- Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs, Finland
- María José Gualda Romero, State Secretary for Budgets and Expenditures, Spain
- Corina Crețu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, European Commission