Social Europe: Cities are ready to do more

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What are the key issues for the future of Europe? What impact can cities have? What do cities need to better reflect citizens needs? EUROCITIES mayors and politicians today discussed one of the key issues in this debate: How do we manage work and social inclusion in our cities?

Daniël Termont, mayor of Ghent and president of EUROCITIES, explains:

“With one in four people in the EU living at risk of poverty or social exclusion, it’s clear that the success of policies like the European Pillar of Social Rights, will depend on cities where around 75% of the EU’s population lives. Cities are key stakeholders in reducing poverty, through delivering social services, promoting social investment and ensuring the active inclusion of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Changes in the labour market have produced new forms of inequality, such as the working poor, and have led to unemployment and job insecurity for many citizens, but solutions can be found.

EUROCITIES members met today in Ghent to insist on better engagement of cities in the European Social Fund. This should be a clear priority ahead of the next EU budget debates. It is crucial to strengthen the partnership between cities, member states, ESF managing authorities and the European Commission so that we can deliver on employment and social inclusion in Europe.

Cities are crucial drivers of sustainable and inclusive economic development. They are the place where effective solutions can be found to these common challenges. Channelling funding to where it is most needed, in our cities, will help citizens and Europe

The EUROCITIES Declaration on Work demonstrates that cities play a crucial role in fighting poverty and social exclusion. By brokering effective partnerships between the public and private sectors and civil society, and integrating different services, they fight poverty, social exclusion and unemployment.

It is only through the meaningful engagement of city authorities that the ambitious goals of the European Pillar of Social Rights can become a reality. Our appeal to the EU is: Cities are ready to do more. Take this opportunity. Don’t miss it.”

You can follow some of the debate on Twitter via #citiesatwork 

Take a look at photos from the event here and at our Storify.

EUROCITIES staff contact

Alex Godson