Save the date - social affairs forum, 25-26 October 2017 in Gothenburg
The next social affairs forum meeting will be a great opportunity for cities to voice their expectations for the future of a social Europe and to send a strong message to the EU and member states ahead of the EU Social Summit on 17 November.
Social enterprises flourishing in Brno
On 1 - 2 June, the working group smart social inclusion met in Brno. The event included a visit to the impact hub of the city, to social enterprises and discussions on how cities can harness the potential of social entrepreneurship for the benefit of their citizens.
Cities look to innovation to care for an ageing population
Our working group urban ageing met on 19 May in Brussels, the day after participants attended the conference ‘Innovation in Care: How to improve quality of life and services for an ageing population?’.
Working group employment meets in Stockholm
Twenty city representatives from 10 EUROCITIES member cities attended the meeting and discussed some of the challenges they face in promoting employment measures at local level: integration of migrants and refugees, promotion of employability through skills development (for adults, low skilled and highly skilled workers) and use of public procurement to create job opportunities.
Working group housing discusses inclusiveness and limited profit housing associations in Vienna
On 3 - 4 May, members of the working group housing gathered in Vienna to discuss inclusiveness in the housing market and the role of limited profit housing associations in the provision of affordable housing. The meeting explored their range of activities and legal architecture in various cities.
EUROCITIES members address top priorities for migration and integration in cities
On 5 - 6 April 2017, 37 EUROCITIES members from 25 cities met in Lisbon, following the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum. They were joined by guests from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and from the European Commission’s DG REGIO.
Video - Cities meet in Lisbon to discuss local strategies for Roma participation
On 5-6 April, the working group Roma inclusion met in Lisbon. The meeting brought together representatives from 15 cities and the European Commission (DG EMPL, DG REGIO and the FRA) to discuss local approaches to encourage Roma participation. For the first time Roma people were also present at the meeting and took part in the discussions, sharing their experiences and views.
Read more and watch our video on the working group.
Cities and the future of EU integration funding
EUROCITIES was involved in a series of events on 28, 29 and 30 March, which focused on the use of EU funds to foster the reception and integration of third country nationals, asylum seekers and refugees.
Solidarity Cities: What’s new?
It’s been a year since the Solidarity Cities initiative was announced by the mayor of Athens, Georgios Kaminis, during the meeting of the European Capitals in April 2016. Since then, EUROCITIES and its members have been working to make the idea of solidarity between cities on the refugee crisis a reality on the ground.
Video - social affairs forum in Lisbon on 3-4 April
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.
Watch our video with the highlights from the forum.
Cities take part in training on children’s rights at the European Parliament
On 7 June 2017, the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) at the European Parliament organised a capacity building training session on children’s rights. Two cities, Barcelona and Timisoara, sent one representative each to attend this training. The representatives, social workers by background, participated actively in three workshops: children in the context of migration, access to justice and children in vulnerable situations (children living in poverty, Roma children, children with disabilities, LGBTI children).
New survey on the European Social Fund from the perspective of cities
EUROCITIES has launched a survey to collect evidence from members about their experiences with the European Social Fund from 2014-2017. The evidence collected will be used for our advocacy work to influence the European Commission’s proposal on the future of the European Social Fund after 2020.
Mapping the situation of Roma in European cities
This year marks the mid-term review of the EU Roma Framework for the National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. The European Commission has launched a reflection on the past achievements and what the future EU approach to Roma inclusion should be after 2020. EUROCITIES has launched a survey to collect evidence of the situation of Roma in cities through a mapping exercise. This mapping explores the characteristics of Roma communities living in our cities, the challenges they face and city responses to these challenges.
New Skills Profile tool to help non-EU nationals enter the labour market
On 19 June, The EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals was launched by the European Commission. It is an off and online web editor that makes it possible for non-EU nationals to present their skills, qualifications, and experiences in a way that is well understood by employers, education and training providers and organisations working with migrants across the European Union.
Strong emphasis on local level in the 2017 country-specific recommendations
On 22 May, the European Commission published the country specific recommendations (CSRs) for 2017. EUROCITIES welcomes the stronger emphasis on local level as well as the increased focus on social priorities. However, despite some progress in balancing social and economic objectives in the CSRs, EUROCITIES believes more can be done.
Youth employment: are we going in the right direction?
The results for 2017 Joint Employment Report’s Scoreboard of Key Employment and Social Indicators are now out. These indicators look at policy efforts to address challenges for young people, including unemployment and inactivity. The rate of those not in employment, education or training (NEET) declined by 5.3% between 2013-2016.
What is the future of social Europe?
On 26 April, the same day the proposal on the European Pillar of Social Rights was launched, the European Commission released its reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe. This reflection paper sets out the future challenges and possible directions for a more social Europe. This is a direct follow up to the White Paper presented by the European Commission on 1 March.
European wages have not recovered from the crisis
Close to a decade later, wage growth is far from matching pre-crisis rates. In fact, seven countries show negative wage-growth since 2008: Hungary, Portugal, Cyprus the United Kingdom, Italy, Croatia and Greece, the latter retaining the highest negative growth at 3.1%.
New developments in The Traffic agent app
The Traffic Agent app developed by the city of Oslo was shortlisted for the EUROCITIES award for innovation in 2015. It is now entering a new phase and offers possibilities for further developments Europe-wide.
Cities in action: Glasgow adopts cooperative model
Glasgow City Council is changing the way it works internally and with external organisations to make a greater difference to city life. By supporting cooperatives and social enterprises, and devolving power to local people, it is finding effective and sustainable new ways of rising to economic and social challenges.
Tilburg refugee competence card
Tilburg has developed a competence card for refugees seeking work, which details their training and work experience for potential employers.
Ghent – helping migrants to integrate thanks to mediators
Ghent City Council employs Slovak and Bulgarian mediators to help eastern European migrants integrate more easily into the work force.