Bologna is 22nd city to sign pledge to the EU Pillar of Social Rights

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Bologna became the 22nd city to sign a pledge to the European Pillar of Social Rights. Mayor Virginio Merola signed a strong commitment to principle 2 on gender equality and principle 19 on housing.

Bologna is committed to build a community welfare system with clear priorities for 2016-2021.

As such, Bologna pledges to combat gender violence and improve gender equality by:

  • ensuring a comprehensive system for reception, counselling and support to victims of gender violence, in cooperation with the metropolitan area 
  • facilitating the exchange of good practices between companies on gender equal opportunities including diversity management, tackling gender pay gap and addressing discrimination against women in the workplace
  • supporting the municipal ‘Centre without violence’ to offer men free counselling on how to prevent and manage their violent behaviour. 

To improve access to adequate housing, Bologna pledges to:

  • invest €60 million EUR by 2021 to provide 1,000 new public housing units (renovate 600 flats and build 400 new houses)
  • reduce housing evictions by giving support to families who receive eviction notice – financial support amounts to €1.4 million so far and led to a substantial drop in evictions from 1,109 in 2015 to 488 in 2017
  • scale up the successful pilot with the first public co-housing in 2017 (‘Porto 15’ with 18 apartments) to more co-housing projects by renovating unused buildings, extending beyond public sector and mainstreaming this model through a change in zoning laws
  • deliver the ‘Housing Transition’ project by providing 300 public apartments to families facing housing emergency (evictions or homelessness) with accompanying support for integration in education, training, employment and finding housing for the long-term.

Read the full pledge below. 

Mayor Virginio Merola said: “An equal and inclusive Europe is possible when housing rights are recognised and promoted for all. Bologna considers the affordable housing issue a matter of citizenship and commits to diversify its planned actions to ensure access to adequate housing”.

Bologna follows 21 other cities that signed pledges to the European Pillar of Social Rights, which were presented to the European Parliament on 21 February. Bologna is the 10th city with a strong pledge on housing, bringing the total city investments for affordable housing to €2.25 billion for the next 5 years (see graphic overview of city pledges).  

EUROCITIES campaign ‘Inclusive cities for all: Social Rights in my city’

Our initiative to collect city pledges on different principles of the EU social pillar continues throughout 2019. Our goal is to build an inclusive Europe with inclusive cities for all people. 

Is your city interested to join the initiative but missed the February deadline? Or is your city already one of the 22 signing cities but you wish to sign a new pledge on another principle? You are very welcome to do so, and we can support you in the process on how to sign a pledge. 

The new city pledges will be presented at our Social Affairs Forum in October in Warsaw towards SAF members and high-level representatives from the European Parliament and European Commission.  

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EUROCITIES staff contact

Bianca Faragau-Tavares