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Cities pledge €4.3 billion to fight poverty and social exclusion

‘Inclusive cities for all: social rights in my city’ is a new political initiative launched by EUROCITIES today at the European Parliament. This coincides with the publication of a new report that finds inequality is rapidly increasing in cities and it is hitting hardest in the most deprived urban neighbourhoods. 

This is why 21 cities, governing more than 20 million citizens have so far pledged €4.32 billion towards a fairer, more equal and inclusive Europe.

The research

EUROCITIES conducted a survey to map cities’ existing policy measures that are in line with the principles of the EU Pillar of Social Rights. The evidence was gathered directly from city authorities and their relevant administrative departments. The responses fed into a comparative analysis to identify trends and map inspiring practices.

The report reveals that inequality is rapidly increasing in cities and it is hitting hardest in the most deprived urban neighbourhoods, among the lowest income earners and most vulnerable groups. While many cities already deliver inclusive social policies to promote social rights for all, however, cities’ efforts are not always known or recognised at national and EU levels. One of the aims of the study was to understand where cities could be doing more to accomplish social rights for all and the obstacles they face. In response to the challenges, 21 cities have committed to invest €4.3 billion to fight poverty and social exclusion over 5 years.

Based on the report it is evident that cities cannot do it alone, they need better support and coordination with national governments and EU institutions. This is why EUROCITIES has given the following recommendations to the EU and member states:

  • Allocate more resources at the local level to build local level capacity to provide inclusive measures for all people and tailor support for the most vulnerable groups
  • Involve cities as partners in all social policy-making to ensure it is supported with evidence and responds to the real needs of people at local level
  • Allow flexibility for cities to tackle rising inequalities at the local level by integrating various services and combining different EU funding streams

Maria João Rodrigues MEP and European Parliament rapporteur on the Pillar, said: “The European Pillar of Social Rights will only succeed through concrete actions at the local level. The city pledges being collected by EUROCITIES under the banner ‘Inclusive cities for all’ demonstrate a clear commitment to a more social Europe. We can overcome challenges of social exclusion and poverty by working together from the ground up.”

The full report ‘European Pillar of social rights – cities delivering social rights’, can be found here. Cities wanting to make a pledge can contact EUROCITIES.

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist and the Community Manager of Child in the City.

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