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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Bring the homeless in from the cold, Green MEP urges

Nearly five hundred people, most homeless, have died in Europe’s recent cold spell.  Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert, and her colleagues in the Greens/EFA Group will today urge the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, to act on the Parliament’s September 2011 request for a strategy for the homeless, which would seek to end homelessness by 2020 [1].

Jean said: “Every winter, decision makers and media commentators across Europe discuss the plight of the homeless, seemingly forgetting that people sleep on the street for twelve months of the year.  We cannot and should not sit back and ignore this social emergency: Europe has the means to act; what is missing is the political will.

“Europe was able to hold emergency summits to save the financial markets, and we must now call for an emergency meeting to save lives.  The Commission should ask representatives of national governments to report on measures implemented in each Member State to ensure that right to a night shelter for people sleeping rough.

“The Greens in the European Parliament will call for the setting up of a relief fund to help Member States that do not have the financial means to address this critical situation in the current financial crisis.  I also urge the Commission to implement, without delay, the EU homeless strategy adopted by the Parliament in September.  Ending homelessness is possible and must be an EU-wide priority.”

Note to Editor

1. The resolution can be read in full at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2011-0383&language=EN&ring=B7-2011-047