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EU commitment to end Street Homelessness by 2015 must be delivered

22 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has this afternoon demanded that the EU parliament follow up on its commitment to end street homelessness by 2015. In April of this year Written Declaration 111 to end street homelessness in the EU by 2015 became EU policy. Speaking during at a press conference in Strasbourg today the MEP noted that “the Declaration is not simply as aspiration of the parliament but an objective that must be achieved.”

Speaking from a press conference in Strasbourg the Dublin MEP said:

“In April of this year Sinn Féin along with four of our European colleagues secured majority support for Written Declaration 111 to end street homelessness throughout the EU by 2015.

“This achievement was significant as written declarations are regularly sought but rarely get a majority of MEP signatures required to enable the declaration to become Parliamentary policy.

“As the Declaration is now policy the EU parliament can actively pressure the European Council, Commission and member states to explain their failure to act on the commitment should it appear at any stage the date of 2015 is in jeopardy.

“Written Declaration 111 is not simply an aspiration of the European parliament. It is an objective that must be achieved. What we are seeking today is an update on what actions member state parliaments have taken to begin the process of ending street homelessness. We are acutely conscious that we are heading into winter and provisions for those without homes must be a priority of all member state governments.

“In addition the Declaration puts a renewed political impetus into the Irish government’s commitment to end street homelessness by 2010. By delivering on our domestic commitment of 2010 Ireland can set an example and lead the way in ensuring all EU member states meet the 2015 deadline.

“It is estimated that some 5,000 people are homeless in Ireland, 629 of these are children. In Dublin alone approximately 1,500 adults and 485 children, the majority of whom are under 11 years of age, have been identified as homeless. These are only estimates.

“Homelessness is one of the big challenges facing the European Union, a challenge we are more than capable of overcoming if we set ourselves a strategic approach that delivers results. The objective of ending street homelessness in all EU member states can and should be achieved. It simply needs the political will of member state governments and EU institutions to make it happen.” CRÍOCH

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