The expression ‘right to housing’ may be considered to refer to a cluster of more specific rights related to adequate housing and living conditions but, in general terms, it may be defined as ‘the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity’. In this document, the commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Thomas Hammarberg, addresses a number of recommendations to member states aimed at designing better housing policy and practice.
The European Association for the protection of Human Rights (AEDH) supports the initiative of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) to circulate a petition calling on the Commission to propose a framework directive in order to protect public services.
The Services Directive, which allows the free movement of services within the EU from 2010, has been adopted by the European Parliament on 15 November 2006. The adopted version of the text does not alter the Council proposal of July 2006 and does not provide any real
guarantees concerning the right for all to benefit from to high quality and accessible services of general interest. Uncertainties also remain on labour law.
The economic and financial crisis is worsening and leaves its impact on all people and economic sectors of the different member states of the European Union. Due to the growing unemployment and the threats on the social protection systems, this could lead to a major social crisis. Moreover, the ecological crisis demands urgent measures that could however facilitate a solution to the economic crisis.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has issued a new report on fundamental labour standards in the European Union (EU). The publication of this report coincides with the consideration by the World Trade Organization (WTO), trade policies of the 27 EU Member States.
In the matter of economic and social rights, the European Union has not been until now, a cause of social peace. If it has the excuse to have no specific competence followed from the Treaties, it is however responsible for promoting directly or indirectly the dismantling of social States and social rights won over a century of social struggles. The current contribution is aiming at outlining this whole process of social decline and at encouraging thoughts for the strengthening of the European Union legitimity. (in French only)