The EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum met on 23-24 October 2018 in Stuttgart to discuss ‘Anchoring the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve Social Rights for All’
Over 120 participants from 40 major European cities agreed to make cities socially sustainable for the future by linking the EU Pillar of Social Rights, the SDGs and the Urban Agenda for the EU. The participating cities propose 10 recommendations to achieve a more socially sustainable Europe in 2019-2024.
Fighting poverty – immediate actions and long-term visions
Recommendation 1: The EU should make social cohesion a real priority in the next 5-year strategic framework and EU budget and involve cities in designing flexible instruments to tackle poverty at local level.
Recommendation 2: The EU should support cities to invest more and better in social infrastructure and to pilot innovative, integrated approaches to tackle poverty, such as by simplifying access for cities to ESF+ and to combine it with other EU funding (InvestEU, ERDF).
Inclusive and equitable early childhood education for all
Recommendation 3: The European Parliament should adopt a resolution on affordable and quality early childcare, which should take into account the responsibility and achievements of local authorities in this area as well as their needs for further support.
Recommendation 4: The European Commission should make provision of affordable and quality childcare a priority in the EU funding for 2021-2027, especially by giving cities better access to use ESF+ and other EU funding.
Decent work for all: focus on young people
Recommendation 5: The EU should support further cross-border validation of qualifications to facilitate easier integration on the local labour market, including through entrepreneurship.
Recommendation 6: The ESF+ should provide stronger support to enable access to decent work for all, specifically focusing on integrating the disadvantaged groups on the labour market.
Addressing gentrification and ensuring access to affordable housing for all
Recommendation 7: The European Commission should include monitoring of the situation of affordable housing in the European Semester process by involving cities in providing data, evidence, trends and good practices from local level.
Recommendation 8: The EU should move from considering housing as a commodity to recognising the right to housing in line with global and EU agendas (SDGs, New Urban Agenda and EU Pillar of Social Rights) and provide an enabling environment for local governments to facilitate access to affordable housing.
Healthy cities promoting well-being for all at all ages
Recommendation 9: The EU should shift the approach to healthcare by promoting prevention measures in the country-specific recommendations of the European Semester process to make cities healthier.
Recommendation 10: The EU should secure funding for measures supporting healthier cities and sustainable healthcare systems with a long-term perspective by creating direct and accessible funding in the next EU financial framework.