On 3-4 April, the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum held a meeting in Lisbon. A record number of 140 representatives from over 40 cities gathered to discuss effective ways to prevent and respond to deep-seated poverty and rising inequality in cities.
The event was opened by Fernando Medina, mayor of Lisbon, followed by a video message from MEP Maria João Rodrigues (S&D, Portugal), who called on cities to use their influence to make EU funding post-2020 more accessible to cities.
Through a mix of presentations, debates, workshops, exchanges, and a political side event, the forum participants shared coherent policies and city strategies proven to work in addressing the challenges of urban poverty and rising inequality. The three key messages from the meeting were:
1. Cities need better access to EU funding to be able to do more to fight against poverty and inequality
2. They need better, integrated policies at EU and national level to combine preventive measures with activation measures
3. Cities want to do more but cannot do it alone; they need to cooperate and coordinate with other levels of government, such as via the urban partnerships set up under the Urban Agenda for the EU.
These forum outcomes were highlighted in a video message delivered by the chair and vice chair of the social affairs forum – respectively Laia Ortiz, deputy mayor of Barcelona, and Andreas Schönström, deputy mayor of Malmo –and addressed to the EU institutions and national governments.
A news article was published on EUROCITIES website highlighting the key 'take aways' from the SAF meeting, which you can access here.
You can have a look at the photos from the SAF meeting in Lisbon here.
Thank you all for your active participation and inspiring messages!