Links between European policies and
national housing policies
Presentation by the Belgian delegation during the informal
meeting of Housing Ministers
Toledo, June 21st 2010
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Housing is the exclusive competence of Member
• Housing is primarily situated within the scope of economic
activities and is subject to the rules of the internal market.
• The new protocol attached to the Lisbon Treaty (02/12/2009)
refers to the essential role of the Member States, namely to
define, organise, finance Services of General Economic
Interest, which inludes social housing.
• The reference to this prerogative of the Member States can
lead to discussions and uncertainties about the Commission’s
role in that respect.
Yet housing enters more or less directly into the realm of European
In the field of legislation
The Directives concerning the Energy Performance of Buildings
In the field of climate objectives
3 x 20
In the field of Social Inclusion Strategy
Fight against social exclusion
In the field of social, economic and territorial cohesion (ERDF)
2007 and 2009
In the framework of the UE 2020 Strategy
A new sustainable social market economy, a smarter, greener economy where
our prosperity will come from innovation and from using resources better and
where the input key will be knowledge
What is at stake?
In what way can the EU support the Member
States’ housing policies so they can contribute in
a positive way to the success of the EU and
Member States objectives?
Common report 2010.
Consensual conference planned within the framework
of the Belgian Presidency.
Demographic challenges (Ageing, new family
structures, migration flows...).
Social, economic and territorial cohesion
• Tradition of non-binding cooperation between Member
States and the EU concerning integrated urban
• Article 4 TFUE defines « Social, economic and territorial
cohesion» as a common competence.
• Two important dates: eligibility of housing EU 12 (2007)
and all Member States (2009).
• 2010 : Possibility of renovating and building dwellings for
Housing and Energy
• 40% of energy consumption results from housing
activities (European avarage).
• Energy renovation of existing dwellings is an
undeniable strategic element to attain the EU’s
• This energy renovation holds direct and indirect
advantages for other sectors.
These advantages are directly or
indirectly of great importance for:
adapting competences and qualifications
fighting energy poverty
improving public purchasing power
Energy policy is the spearhead of the EU’s
By offering support for new sectoral
cooperation and convergence, climate
commitments and Energy programmes offer a
great opportunity to invigorate housing policies.
In order to improve the capacity of the housing policies to
contribute to climate commitments and social, economic
and territorial cohesion, the following possibilites have to be
Continue legislative work by considering the impact of the
Directives on governance models and formulas of the Member
States that have to implement the transition towards Low
Create new financial special purpose vehicles without neglecting
the needs for technical assistance for the realisation of
Create a focus « Housing » within energy policy financing
(namely within the Second Energy Efficiency Action Plan).
Maintain the eligibility of housing in FEDER and consolidate its
role within integrated territorial development.
Develop a platform for sharing experiences and good
practices between Member States in order to create common
know how concerning the coordination of existing policy
Create closer links between the public housing sector and the
world of research and innovation (European Research and
Thank you for your attention
Ministerial Cabinet of Christos Doulkeridis,
Minister for Housing of the Brussels-Capital Region