FEPS Newsletter 24 May 2024 – 🏠 Housing crisis and Social Europe

Two weeks before the EU elections! –

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We are fast approaching the two-week deadline to #EUElections2024 and the start of the new term- and while we continue assessing the outgoing legislature, we also look to areas to progress in the future one!

Surveys stress that housing is one of the priorities and preoccupations of Europe’s citizens. This topic has been precisely one of our main focus recently. What can the EU do to combat the housing crisis?

Linked to this, FEPS continues the reflection on how to integrate social investments into the EU’s economic governance and consider its important societal and economic returns (progressives in Belgium, Germany and Spain are already moving steps in this direction). Other resources may also come from the introduction of a 5% wealth tax on Europe’s multimillionaires and billionaires so that we can finance the triple transformation: green, digital, and social.

FEPS is also pushing for a global perspective to face this ongoing transformation by pushing for a New Global Deal. This work brought us to the UN Civil Society Conference in Kenya. All this and more are on this week’s menu!


Europe’s housing crisis is urgent, as it touches vulnerable categories and middle-income groups that can no longer afford the costs of rent or mortgage. This crisis not only affects people’s health and well-being but also increases inequalities, reduces productivity and leads to environmental damage.  It is time for the European Union to make the housing crisis a priority, formulate policies and legislation, and provide funds to ensure decent and affordable housing for all.

Affordable housing and (in)equality in the European Union


Affordable housing and (in)equality in the EU

16 May – ULB, Brussels – Fringe event at the Interdisciplinary Conference on European Advanced Studies (IDEAS) by the Institute of European Studies of the Université Libre de Bruxelles

FEPS’ panel focused on housing inequalities and the role of EU policymaking to help member states deliver more affordable housing, support social housing and energy efficiency of buildings.


During this fringe event, we were joined by experts, including Ana Carla Pereira, expert on housing policies in the Cabinet of EU Commissioner Nicolas Schmit for Jobs and Social Rights; Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General at Housing Europe and Michaela Kauer, Head of Brussels Office, City of Vienna.


Capacity building seminar on housing

17 May – FEPS HQ


FEPS hosted a ‘Capacity Building Seminar’ on housing, involving different progressive family partners (S&D, PES CoR, ESO, YES, Rainbow Rose, PES Women, ETUC, EESC, Solidar).

Housing is a human right

Photo credits: Shutterstock / Sam foster


Housing is a human right

By Isilda Gomes, Christophe Rouillon and Hans Dubois


Read the latest Progressive Post’s dossier on the housing crisis, including the following articles: 


FEPS organised a panel during the United Nations Civil Society Conference in Nairobi, Kenya – an international gathering that drew over 2,158 participants from 115 nationalities. This conference served as a crucial platform ahead of the upcoming Summit of the Future in September 2024 at the UN Headquarters in New York.


Against the backdrop of alarming trends of regression and widening inequalities exacerbated by resource constraints, our aim was to leverage this occasion to advocate for a New Global Deal. Through our panel and our new book ‘A New Global Deal’, we wanted to open dialogue across all continents on the urgent need to reform global governance and policies to address the current global challenges. 


ℹ️ Read more about FEPS participation in the UN Civil Society Conference in Kenya 

📕 Explore the recommendations outlined in our book ‘A New Global Deal

🎥 Watch FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues speaking on the plenary panel ‘Civil Society Recommendations on the 5 Chapters of the Pact for the Future, Declaration on Future Generations, and Global Digital Compact’ alongside Robeliza Halp, organising partner of Indigenous Peoples Major Group.

Social Europe in the new EU Economic Governance framework


Social Europe in the new EU Economic Governance framework

Integrating social investment and social policy actors

21 May – FEPS HQ – In collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the German Federation of Trade Unions

During this expert meeting, we discussed the importance of integrating social investments and reforms into the EU’s new fiscal rules and strengthening Social Europe politically within the new Economic Governance framework with key actors from the Commission, the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the German Chancellery, the Belgian European Council Presidency and Trade Unions


#TaxTheRichest campaign

Social and environmental justice in the EU – Who will pay for it?

1-2 May – Events in Budapest (Hungary) and Bratislava (Slovakia) – In collaboration with FES, Progressive Forum and Institute for Social Democracy

Tax the rich

The top five richest in the EU have seen their wealth surge by 76% in the last three years, while 99% of citizens struggled and became poorer. In the EU, the richest 1% own 47% of financial wealth. Yet, they’re taxed less than employees.


To tackle crises and foster a fairer society, EU Member States must undergo a triple transformation: green, digital, and social. Introducing a 5% wealth tax on Europe’s multimillionaires and billionaires could yield EUR 286.5 billion annually. This is not a luxury but a necessity. 


Our objective with the events in Hungary and Slovakia was to raise awareness and collect signatures to support this initiative. Let’s make it happen, sign the petition to tax the richest!

FEPS is in the news


FEPS in the media!


FEPS has been featured in several media outlets:

  • In the Dutch magazine Sampol‘s article, FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues analyses the current state of the EU in the run-up to the European elections
  • Maria João Rodrigues’s interview in the Special Edition on the EU elections by the Portuguese newspaper SÁBADO
  • In the Hungarian newspaper Új Szó‘s article, FEPS Secretary General László Andor discusses the 2024 European Parliament elections and current issues facing the EU
  • László Andor’s interview in Euractiv on the consequences of youth unemployment for communities and the evolution of the concept of work


Leading social and employment action at the EP

With Agnes Jongerius and David Rinaldi


🎧 Listen to this podcast on Spotify | Apple Podcast | Website or watch it on Youtube

Leading Social and Employment action at the EP with Agnes Jongerious

Agnes Jongerius, MEP of the S&D Group, explains the relevance of representing workers’ interests within the European Parliament and stresses the work done with the progressive family at the European level, in collaboration with EU Commissioner Schmit and PES, for which she leads the Social Europe Network.


Interviewed by FEPS Director David Rinaldi, Jongerius is not short of ideas for the next European legislature and suggests making bold steps on public procurement, minimum income, and a European local employment guarantee, in line with the zero unemployment areas that are emerging in different member states.

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