Greetings from the Observatori DESC! We would like to thank the members of HIC-Europe for their trust in electing me as HIC Board representative for the region.
Observatori DESC is a platform of organizations and individuals whose main objective is the promotion of social rights. In recent years, an important part of this work has been to denounce the increasing decline in the realization of social rights in general, and in particular of the right to adequate housing.
Economically-driven evictions are increasing across Europe as are the number of European countries that are promoting private ownership as the main way of accessing housing.
There is no doubt that housing policy is among the major triggering factors responsible for the current global economic crisis. With hundreds of thousands of families having been evicted from their homes, Spain is without a doubt the best example of the failure of neoliberal policies. However, European governments remain determined to continue encouraging the same kind of policy, characterized by the privatization of housing.
To increase the visibility of the decline in housing policy which is taking place in Europe, it is essential to participate in international networks, such as HIC, that defend the right to housing with dignity for all. For the Observatori DESC, an urgent effort must be made to strengthen the presence of HIC in Europe; on the one hand, by stimulating the participation of European organizations which are already part of the network, and on the other hand, by expanding the scope of HIC actions.
To this end, the World Urban Forum to be held in September in Naples, Italy, should be a space of convergence where public denunciations of the constant violations of the right to adequate housing in Europe are initiated.
We would like to express our disposition to work towards all of the above-mentioned propositions.