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The City is for All submitted its report to the Venice Commission

Written by Super User. Posted in Policy

The City is for All has sent a report to the Venice Commission on the criminalization of homelessness by the Hungarian constitution. The report details the ways in which the pertaining paragraph of the 4th Amendment to the Fundamental Law breaches the rights of homeless people and those without proper housing. With this report, The City is for All wishes to contribute to the Venice Commission’s efforts to get a clear picture of the legal situation of Hungary, so that it can compile a succinct and unbiased report for the Council of Europe. 

What is the Venice Commission?

The Venice Commission (officially the European Commission for Democracy through Law) is a permanent advisory body of the Council of Europe, providing assistance in issues concerning constitutionality and democratic institutions. The Council of Europe – which is not an institution of the European Union – is an intergovernmental organization created after the Second World War. It was brought to life in order to protect fundamental values such as democracy, constitutionality and human rights. Hungary became a member of the Council immediately following the regime change in 1989, having passed a strict examination of its newly created democratic institutions and the status of human rights. Member states, however, are not exempt from the obligation to protect their citizens’ basic rights and the democratic institutions even after they had been admitted. In fact, the Commission’s monitoring committee has recently concluded that these values have become seriously threatened in Hungary. As a result, it prepared a proposal for the Assembly of the Council of Europe, which called for a monitoring procedure against Hungary. This is a strong political signal to the government of Hungary: ever since the Council was created, no other member state has been subjected to such a procedure. 

At the moment, the Venice Commission is analyzing the status of constitutionality and democratic institutions in Hungary, especially with regards to the 4th Amendment to the Fundamental Law. The report compiled on the basis of these findings will play an important role in the decision made by the Assembly in June, 2013. The City is for All – along with FEANTSA, a European umbrella organization for homeless service providers – has submitted information for the report concerning the criminalization of homelessness in Hungary. 

The contents of the report by The City is for All

Our report states that the 4th Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary

- breaches the right of homeless people to human dignity by penalizing their social status;

- negatively discriminates against homeless people concerning their right to using public spaces;

- undermines jurisprudence by giving virtually unlimited freedom to the legislature in limiting the use of public spaces, while neither the definition of “permanent habitation in public spaces,” nor the definition of “the obligation of the government to provide appropriate services” contain suitable guidance;

- breaches the European Convention of Human Rights regarding the prohibition of discrimination concerning the private sphere of citizens.

The full English version of the report can be downloaded here. 

Note to editor: In The City is for All, homeless people and their allies work together for an egalitarian and just society. We fight for the right to housing and the dignity of all human beings. More information:

Contact: Bernadett Sebály +36 70/217-2601, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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What is EUH?

Written by Super User. Posted in Others

The necessity of the setting up of a European participation-network of people without housing took hold during the European consultation of homeless people 2010 that was conducted for the ‘European consensus conference on homelessness” that took place in Brussels on 9 and 10 December 2010 . The idea for such a network came from all stakeholders concerned, policy makers, scientists, the services and the people without housing themselves. The setting up of a European participation network of people without housing is also a proposition In the political recommendations of the jury of the consensus conference.

After two days of talks, on12 and 13 may 2011, in Brussels, representatives of 4 self-organizations in 4 EU-countries founded the “European Union of Homeless”(EUH). On 9 February 2012 a fifth member joined EUH. At this moment EUH is composed of Armutsnetzwerk Germany, Á Varos Mindenkié Hungary, Comité Des Sans Logis France, Daklozen Aktie Kommitee The Netherlands and Front Commun SDF Belgium.

The principals and goals of EUH are enunciated in the EUH-CHARTER. EUH is an independent network that is open to all people who are houseless, those who live temporarily with friends or relatives, those who live on the street, those who took refuge in the services, to those who live in unfit housing, those who are at risk of losing their home. EUH gives a voice to houseless people in all matters that concern them.

EUH collects and diffuses information about policies and about the actual situation. EUH wants to be a place to share knowledge with all parties concerned, the population in general, the houseless people, civil society, policy makers, EU-institutions,etc.EUH organizes debates and develop political demands around minimum income, access to housing, access and standards in the services, security and repression, migration...

It is the pinion of EUH that the causes of homelessness are the same as those of poverty and social exclusion in general. The solutions are to be found in the realization of social rights such as access to housing, health-care, education, and employment. As long as a person is houseless, a decent accommodation should be available whereby the authorities must be able to ensure concrete access to proper independent housing within a specified lapse of time. Preventive measures should be taken so that people should not become houseless.

EUH has no organizational structure yet nor is it a legal entity yet. There is a temporary commitee that consists of 5 persons, one from each of the 5 organizations. On 12 and 13 May 2012 we will hold a meeting in Brussels. There we will decide together about the organizational structure and about putting up a legal entity. We will formulate political standpoints and develop a strategy for the future.

1024x768 Normal 0 21 false false false DE X-NONE X-NONE 19 February 2012