Notes on the agenda
27 August 2001
meeting, 12 September 2001
6.1 Amelioration of disadvantaged urban areas -
Recommendation 1505 (2001)
The Deputies are invited to consider the draft reply to
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1505 (2001), as set out below,
with a view to its adoption.
The Standing Committee, on behalf of the
Parliamentary Assembly, adopted Recommendation 1505 (2001) on the
amelioration of disadvantaged urban areas in Europe on 14 March
2001. The Ministers' Deputies examined it at their 746th
meeting (21 March 2001), during which they drew the attention of
their governments to it and forwarded it to the Congress of Local
and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) for information.
At the present meeting, the Ministers'
Deputies are invited to examine the draft reply below, with a view
to adopting it.
With regard to the Recommendation:
The Assembly focuses on the living conditions
of the large proportion of Europe's population living in
“disadvantaged” urban areas and their adverse social
The Assembly recalls the Final Declaration of
the second Council of Europe Summit - which refers to efforts to
improve the quality of life in disadvantaged areas - and suggests
that the ideas of town planners be used, with the support of local
authorities and the involvement of residents themselves, in making
decisions on improving habitats; it also suggests that successful
initiatives and examples of good practice be publicised.
The Assembly therefore recommends that the
Committee of Ministers:
complete in the near future the ongoing work on a programme aimed at
improving the appearance of disadvantaged urban areas;
- engage in dialogue with the media and NGOs so that
the programme and the good practices established by various pilot
projects are brought to the attention of the citizens of Europe;
follow the progress and outcome of such programmes and inform both
the Assembly and the CLRAE of developments, with a view to ensuring
the understanding and support of national parliaments, local
authorities and non-governmental organisations.
763rd meeting – 12 September 2001
Amelioration of disadvantaged urban areas in
Assembly Recommendation 1505 (2001)
The Deputies adopted the following reply to
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1505 (2001) on the
amelioration of disadvantaged urban areas in Europe:
“The Committee of
Ministers has examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1505
(2001) on the amelioration of disadvantaged urban areas in Europe
and has decided to bring it to the attention of governments and of
the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE).
The Committee of
Ministers attaches great importance to developing a healthy and
pleasant living environment for the citizens of its member states.
Its action to promote better social cohesion, as part of the social
cohesion strategy adopted in 2000, particularly reflects this.
In paragraph 2 of
the Recommendation, the Assembly mentions the difficult situation of
residents of disadvantaged areas, pointing out that “frequently,
they do not own their own homes”. The Committee of Ministers notes
that this is often true in the context of Western European
countries, but that the reality is different in most of the post-communist
transition countries in central and eastern Europe. In these
countries, mass privatisation of housing estates has allowed most of
the residents of these estates to become owners. Often, however,
they have neither the personal means necessary to maintain their
property nor access to public systems of financial assistance. The
specific needs of this type of tenants have been studied closely by
the Group of Specialists on Access to Housing (CS-LO), under the
auspices of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS).
The group of
specialists is currently drawing up a set of policy guidelines on
access to housing for vulnerable categories of people. It addresses
many of the issues mentioned in Recommendation 1505 (2001); for
example, the implementation of area-based policies, funding for
access to quality housing and housing maintenance, the establishment
of legal and institutional provisions and co-operation with civil
society. The results of this work, together with the outcome of
other activities relating to access to social rights, should be
compiled in a comprehensive report and presented at a conference to
be held in 2002. It is also planned to draft a Committee of
Ministers recommendation, which will incorporate the guidelines set
out on access to social rights.
order to ensure the continuity of its action on housing policies,
the Committee of Ministers plans to appoint a new committee in 2002
to look at the contribution of these policies to social cohesion;
the Parliamentary Assembly will be invited to attend meetings of
this committee as an observer. In addition, a number of assistance
programmes on access to housing are planned in the Baltic states,
Bulgaria and the Russian Federation.
The Committee of
Ministers would also remind the Assembly of the regional network of
experts on housing in South-Eastern Europe, set up by the Council of
Europe in 2000 to examine the major difficulties concerning housing
in the region. The network is involved in the strategic review of
social cohesion issues in South-Eastern Europe and contributes in
particular to the social cohesion initiative and the action plan of
the Stability Pact (Working Table II), in which the Council of
Europe, particularly the Development Bank, plays an active part.
The objectives set
for the housing component of Working Table II and the implementation
strategy which has been developed in this context are in line with
the concerns set out by the Assembly in Recommendation 1505