Magazine article European Social Policy

Living Standards : Dublin Foundation: Cohesion Policy Should Also Cover Housing

Magazine article European Social Policy

Living Standards : Dublin Foundation: Cohesion Policy Should Also Cover Housing

Article excerpt

The results of a recent survey on European housing conditions have led the Dublin Foundation to the conclusion that the EU's cohesion policy should also be used for the improvement of the Union's housing situation. The foundation has also expressed its support for the current role of the European Commission in undertaking action on specific housing issues, despite the fact that the EU has no formal competences in housing under the EC Treaty. According to the Dublin Foundation, the survey's results confirm the importance assigned to housing in the social inclusion approach of the Commission.

There are significant differences in housing conditions across Europe, the report reveals. The main divide exists between the EU15 states and the ten new members along with the acceding countries (Bulgaria, Romania) and Turkey. People living in the post-communist countries tend to experience significantly worse housing conditions compared with the EU15 and below the level stipulated in EU policy. Differences also exist both within western and eastern Europe. However, cross-national variations within the latter group are stronger. Slovenia has the best conditions, whereas the Baltic states and Poland have less favourable conditions, followed by the acceding countries of Romania and Bulgaria, as well as candidate country Turkey. These results confirm that economic developments, e.g. differences in GDP per capita, are the main reasons for inequalities in housing conditions and confirm the strong relationship between the EU's cohesion policy and housing conditions. …

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