Europe makes pledge to end street homelessness
The European Parliament has adopted a landmark pledge to end street homelessness within a decade across all member states.
A total of 438 MEPs signed up to a written declaration to end rough sleeping by 2015. The number means more than half of all the MEPs gave the motion their backing.
The move means that the council will now work towards a European definition of street homelessness, gather comparable and reliable statistical data and provide annual updates on action taken and progress made in member states.
Claude Moraes, Labour MEP for London, said the move marked a major success.
He said it had been surprising to find such widespread support for social issues, especially homelessness, from across the political spectrum.
Mr Moraes said that it would be impossible and too complex to adopt the declaration as a law across all member states. But he said it sent a clear message that street homelessness was high on the political agenda across Europe.
'It's extremely difficult to get a declaration with more than 50 per cent of MEPs' support on social issues, as they are often see as controversial - both to the left and the right,' he said.
'It's OK with welfare issues around animal rights and disability, but social issues like these never get through'.