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Lisbon Declaration on the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness

Met dank overgenomen van Portugees voorzitterschap Europese Unie 1e helft 2021, gepubliceerd op maandag 21 juni 2021.

21 June 2021


WE note that

  • Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union mandates the Union to combat social exclusion and promote economic, social, and territorial cohesion.
  • Principle 19 of the European Pillar of Social Rights stresses the need for social housing or housing assistance of good quality for those in need, the right to appropriate assistance and protection against forced eviction for vulnerable people and adequate shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness.
  • the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 11 call for ending extreme poverty including homelessness, everywhere and ensuring access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing.
  • the Council invited Member States and the European Commission to “continue to design and implement measures acknowledging and addressing homelessness and promote access to affordable housing for all”1.
  • the European Parliament has called upon the European Commission in numerous reports and resolutions to develop a new policy coordination initiative on homelessness.2
  • the primary responsibility for tackling homelessness lies with the Member States and their regional or local authorities.
  • the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and the Next Generation EU recovery instrument create scope for investment to tackle homelessness.
  • the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan envisages the launch of a European Platform on Combating Homelessness to support Member States, cities and service providers in sharing best practices and identifying efficient and innovative approaches.
  • In the Porto Social Commitment, the European Parliament, the Portuguese Council Presidency, the European Commission, EU social partners and the Social Platform have welcomed the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan and called on all relevant actors to join efforts to develop public policies that, at the appropriate level, strengthen social cohesion, fight against all forms of discrimination, including in the world of work, and promote equal opportunities for all, particularly also people experiencing homelessness.
  • the Porto Declaration expresses the joint commitment of EU Member States at the highest political level to reducing inequalities, defending fair wages, fighting social exclusion and tackling poverty, taking on the objective of fighting child poverty and addressing the risks of exclusion for particularly vulnerable social groups, including the homeless; and welcoming the new EU headlines targets on jobs, skills and poverty reduction.

1 Conclusions on the Economy of Wellbeing (26 November 2019)

2 the European Parliament resolution of 24 November 2020 on tackling homelessness rates in the EU (2020/2802(RSP)) and most recently European Parliament resolution of 21 January 2021 on access to decent and affordable housing for all (2019/2187(INI)


WE acknowledge

  • that homelessness is one of the most extreme forms of social exclusion, negatively affecting people’s physical and mental health, well- being, and quality of life, as well as their access to employment and access to other economic and social services.
  • that the phenomenon of homelessness affects all Member States and has increased substantially over the last decade in the EU.
  • that addressing homelessness requires an understanding of how different groups in communities are impacted, including children, youth, women, single parents and large families, older persons, migrants, ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups.
  • the importance of reliable data collection on homelessness, including youth homelessness, with the involvement of relevant stakeholders, allowing common understanding, systematic comparison and monitoring at EU level.
  • the complex root causes of homelessness, which include rising housing costs, insufficient supply of social housing stock or housing assistance, low income and precarious jobs, job loss, ageing and family breakdown, discrimination, long-term health problems and insufficiently prepared release from institutional settings.
  • that the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the urgency of effective action to solve homelessness.
  • the growing evidence about effective interventions to prevent and solve homelessness, such as housing-led approach.
  • the importance of housing affordability for vulnerable groups and of social protection policies to guaranteeing a decent life. the role of the social economy and social services providers to address and prevent homelessness.
  • the need for European policy support and coordination to promote progress, notably through mutual learning and support to collaboration.


WE agree to launch together the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness and to work towards the ending of homelessness by 2030, so that:

  • no one sleeps rough for lack of accessible, safe and appropriate emergency accommodation;
  • no one lives in emergency or transitional accommodation longer than is required for successful move-on to a permanent housing solution;
  • no one is discharged from any institution (e.g. prison, hospital, care facility) without an offer of appropriate housing;
  • evictions should be prevented whenever possible and no one is evicted without assistance for an appropriate housing solution, when needed;
  • no one is discriminated against due to their homelessness status.


The European Platform on Combatting Homelessness will promote policies based on a person-centred, housing-led and integrated approach. It will:

  • support mutual learning for policy-makers and practitioners;
  • contribute to harness EU funding possibilities;
  • strengthen evidence and monitoring on homelessness;
  • disseminate and promote good practices, including through a European Prize;
  • review progress towards the eradication of homelessness by 2030.


WE, the European Commission, will:

  • support monitoring of homelessness, through the European Semester process and the Social Protection Committee, with a view to provide a quantitative and qualitative assessment of progress made;
  • support mutual learning of good practices for combatting homelessness and explore further the implementation of successful existing models;
  • promote the use of EU funding to support inclusive policy measures aiming at combatting homelessness;
  • strengthen analytical work and data collection in order to promote evidence-based policies and initiatives addressing homelessness4.

4 in accordance with Regulation 019/1700 of 10 October 2019 establishing a common framework for European statistics relating to persons and households, based on data at individual level collected from samples


WE, the European Parliament, will:

  • take an active part in and host meetings of the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness;
  • promote and support policies aiming at reducing poverty, especially among children and ending homelessness by 2030, and therefore, building on the actions announced in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, continue to work towards comprehensive European anti-poverty policies, pursuing the UN SDGs and helping achieve the EU 2030 headline poverty target.
  • continue closely following the evaluation of the use of relevant EU funding to address the problem and root causes of homelessness in the Union.


WE, national, regional and local authorities, will:

  • promote the prevention of homelessness, access to permanent housing and the provision of enabling support services to the homeless;
  • welcome the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the design and implementation of these policy measures;
  • support our policy measures with adequate funding and, when appropriate, make use of EU funding as a lever to improve the way we address homelessness;
  • share our good practices in combatting homelessness.


WE, EU level civil society organisations and social partners, will:

  • actively engage our members in the activities of the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness;
  • continue to support our members in their efforts to combat homelessness;
  • facilitate mutual learning and develop evidence on the best ways to end homelessness.


WE invite the rotating Presidencies of the Council:

  • to convene at least biennial high-level meetings of the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness;
  • to support efforts of all stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, to combat homelessness.


WE invite stakeholders engaged in the fight against homelessness at European, national, regional and local level to undersign this Declaration.

Adopted in Lisbon on 21 June 2021



European Commission

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit

European Parliament

Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová

European Committee of the Regions

Rapporteur on the Social Pillar, Anne Karjalainen

European Economic and Social Committee

Vice-president, Giulia Barbucci


Federal Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, Wolfgang Mückstein


Minister of Pensions and Social Integration, in charge of Persons with Disabilities and Combating Poverty, Karine Lalieux


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Galab Donev


State Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, Marija Pletikosa


Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, Zeta Emilianidou

Czech Republic

Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, Martina Stepankova


Minister of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens, Astrid Krag


Minister of Social Protection, Signe Riisalo


Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Krista Mikkonen


Minister Delegate to the Minister of Ecological Transition, in charge of Housing

Emmanuelle Wargon


Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil


Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Domna Michailidou


Secretary of State of Social Affaires, Attila Fülöp


Minister of labour and social policies, Andrea Orlando


Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien


Minister of Welfare, Gatis Eglītis


Vice-Minister of Social Security and Labour, Vytautas Šilinskas


Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the greater Region, Corinne Cahen


Minister for Social Accommodation, Rodrick Galdes


State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport, Paul Blokhuis


Secretary of State, Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Stanisław Szwed


Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho


State Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Mihnea Drumea


State Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Soňa Gaborčáková


Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Janez Cigler Kralj


State Secretary for Social Rights, Ignacio Álvarez Peralta


Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Lena Hallengren


President, Kjell Larsson

Social Platform

President, Piotr Sadowski

European Social Network

Chair, Christian Fillet

Council of European Municipalities and Regions

President, Stefano Bonaccini


President, Dario Nardella

Housing Europe

President, Bent Madsen

Social Economy Europe

President, Juan Antonio Pedreño

ETUC | European Trade Union Confederation Confederal

Secretary General, Liina CarrPage

SGI Europe

Secretary General, Valeria Ronzitti

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