In a resolution adopted today, lawmakers from the 27 country bloc urged member states to decriminalize homelessness and proposed a plan to eliminate this living condition by 2030.
However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession in several nations, the number of people sleeping rough in Europe is expected to increase. This as homeless citizens are also the most vulnerable to violence, hate crimes, and stigmatization.
The lawmakers pointed out that affordable housing is becoming a critical problem in the region despite noticeable differences between countries. In the second quarter of 2020 alone, Europe's overall house price increased by 5.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
The European Parliament recognizes homelessness "as one of the most severe forms of poverty, caused by a combination of structural, institutional, and personal factors." In this sense, the increase of citizens living in such conditions indicates the detriment of the well-being state Europe has historically promoted worldwide.
On the other hand, the Parliament urged "the Commission and member states to use instruments available under the long-term EU budget (2021-2027) and the Recovery and Resilience Facility to improve employment opportunities and social integration for jobless households."