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UEPC achieves lobbying goals on social housing report

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UEPC achieves lobbying goals on social housing report

UEPC has been closely following developments on the European Parliament’s report on social housing, drafted by the Rapporteur Karima Delli (Greens, France).

In advance of the plenary vote today, we have been working with MEP offices to advise them to reject a number of aspects of the draft report, which would have had damaging implications in relation to state aid rules and the level playing field between social housing and the private sector.

We are very pleased to inform you, therefore, that in today’s plenary vote, the following outcome was achieved due to our effective lobbying campaign:
  • MEPs rejected a statement that claimed that that European competition policy should under no circumstances serve to undermine economic services of general interest;
  • MEPs rejected a statement calling on the Commission to modify the criteria contained in the December 2011 Package of State Aids for Economic Services of General Interest restricting social housing assistance concessions to the most vulnerable social categories and calling on the Commission and Member States to take measures to overcome the difficulties caused by these restrictions.

We were very concerned that if these statements had been adopted in the report it would have opened the floodgates to all sorts of unhelpful changes to EU competition policy to support social housing at the expense of the private sector, so this is very good news.

We had also lobbied for the rejection of two other statements, in which we were also successful:
  • MEPs rejected a statement which asked the Commission to bring socio-economic indicators, such as social housing investment, within the scheme of the European Semester by including them in its evaluation of targets for combating and preventing real estate bubbles (in particular UEPC argued that real estate bubbles had no relevance to the arguments);
  • MEPs rejected the idea of establishing an enforceable right to housing (UEPC argued that such a right did not exist at EU level and this went beyond the remit of the report).
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