Coinciding with the launch of the city pledges at the European Parliament on 21 February, EUROCITIES also launched a new report mapping cities’ policy measures in line with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The report covers 20 cities in 12 countries governing a total of 20 million people.
We analyse in the report the competences, trends and good practices of cities in four policy areas:
- inclusive education
- gender equality
- equal opportunities
- active support to employment
We found that many cities already deliver inclusive social policies to promote social rights for all people, but their efforts are not always known or recognised at national and EU levels.
In fact, most city authorities go beyond their legal responsibilities to address the urgent needs of their residents. Inequality is rapidly increasing in cities and is hitting the most vulnerable groups hardest, including migrants and refugees, the long term unemployed, the lowest income earners and people living in the most deprived areas.
Cities take measures to help as many people as possible, including measures to prevent school dropout, improve literacy and skills of adults, introduce social clauses in public procurement and coordinate local partnerships between public services, employers, training providers and NGOs to match demand and offer on the local labour market. This report highlights the major role of cities in this arena, and pushes that impact further.
Cities are committed to turning the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights into tangible actions, but we need more support from national and EU levels. We recommend the EU and member states to:
- allocate more resources to local level from the state budgets and the EU funds to build capacity for local measures and services for tailored support to the most vulnerable groups.
- involve cities as partners in social policy-making at national and EU level to ensure social policies are effectively responding to the real needs on the ground. Multi-level governance for policy and funding, including the ESF+ operational programmes, is needed.
- support integrated urban development to tackle rising inequalities between urban areas and improve living conditions by combining people-based and area-based solutions.
- adopt a post-2020 EU strategy on equal opportunities and social inclusion with an integrated approach to tackling inequalities and specific focus on challenges in urban areas.
- improve equality data by disaggregating social scoreboard indicators on gender, socio-economic status and migrant background to feed evidence-based inclusion policies.
Read the full report below.