Affording EU Homes

The ever rising housing demand in Europe, and indeed all over the world is forcing countries to develop measures ensuring that all people across income lines get decent accommodation.

Being among basis human rights, states are obligated to develop and maintain systems that consistently help citizens with their housing needs. In this regard, individual EU countries are under, the Union supposed to ensure that the basis human right of hosing is provided, failure of which could lead to disciplinary action from the secretariat as well as ridicule from other members.

However, the question whether the Brussels should have a say in member country housing policy has been rising and consistently debated at national and regional level. As a contribution to this debate, this paper shall investigate whether the European Union as a body has a part to play in national hosing policy development; it shall be argued that Brussels has no role to play at the national level. However, Brussels should provide guidelines and targets to be followed by individual member countries.
The paper shall pass Italy’s decentralization and Localization of housing problems as the best framework that EU should copy.  The concluding part would reiterate on important points made in the paper.
Brussels’ Role in National Housing Policy
Current arrangement at the regional levels have national governments take control of their nation’s housing policies (Priemus, 2006, p. 1). This ensures that individual countries develop and maintain policies that are in line with national demand. In addition, countries are able to wither through business cycles affecting their industries without affecting other nations.
Having each country take care of housing policies further mean that member countries are able to see and learn for best practices used in different nations. This diversity of policies are hard for EU officials to manage, which explains why national governments should continue taking the center stage.
Despite the independence of national governments in managing their countries’ housing markets, it has been reported that the European Union has been slowly making inroads into the management of the sector, a matter that many countries are not very comfortable-with (Priemus, 2006, p. 1). The EU comes into the management circle in the name of streamlining housing industry in the entire region. One route that is consistently used by the EU is the pretext of assuring that social aspects of housing are met by all members.
That is, members of the community without abilities to provide themselves with shelter are considered and equally attended. Due to the need of providing shelter for all in the region, EU authorities have been pushing national governments to adopt a single approach to the issue. This however requires minimal state intervention and increased role of the European Union in running of housing affairs in the region.
The loss of national control of the housing market is not being taken lightly by European governments and the electorates. One reason being that the sector is seen as so vital such that the state and local stakeholders have to be involved with day to day running of the industry.
National governments should less be involved in the management of housing industry as is in Italy, which means that even the EU should stay clear of housing. Reason: the one-size-fits-all policy of development would not be effective in meeting housing goals than the policy of decentralization (Eurofound, 2006, p. 7).
Eyk, H. (2002). EU & Housing. Amsterdam. Housing Ministry.
Eurofound, (2006). Social Dimensions of EU Housing. Dublin: Eurofound.
Longo, G. (2006). Coupling Localization and Urbanization of Housing in Italy.  Ljubljana:        ENHR.
Premus, H. (2006). EU and National Housing Systems. Ljubljana: ENHR.
Toa, A. (2007). Italian Housing Policy. Roma: University of Roma.

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