On the 25th of May 2023 CERANEO organized the regional education “Challenges of the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in the City of Zagreb” with the aim of actualization of this topic.
The implementation of European Pillar of Social Rights in the City of Zagreb is seen as an opportunity to reduce poverty and advocating for the rights of vulnerable groups. CERANEO experts presented CERANEO’s efforts so far in actualization of this topic. They pointed out the need of the City of Zagreb to collect statistical data that is in line with European statistics and the need to develop an affordable housing policy.
As a part of the education, panel of experts was held. Legilslative limitations stand out as the biggest problem in the operation of the social welfare system, whereby certain groups of users cannot exercise the rights they desperately need. The fact that the majority of housing communities are project-financed was particularly highlighted. Alarming is the fact that an increasing share of users of social welfare system is a group of employees who, based on their income, are not able to cover the basic costs of living. There is a systematic delay in the provision of preventive services, and social welfare system for some users becomes a “shelter from the cradle to the grave” where children from alternative care in adulthood end up as beneficiaries of a guaranteed minimum benefit or in the shelters for the homeless people. On the other hand, it is noted that a large sum of money is spent on institutional care of children instead of working on the development of services that would reduce the need for institutional care of children and later their need again for services from the social welfare system in adulthood.
In order to break the vicious cycle of poverty and housing exclusion, the panel highlighted the need for intersectoral cooperation of various stakeholders in the City of Zagreb to adequately cover the social needs of citizens. The main conclusion is the need for the City of Zagreb and its structures to take a leading role in securing administrative capacities and financial resources so that other stakeholders can invest their capacities in providing adequate social services for the benefit of all citizens.
Project “Strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Croatia” benefits from a grant under the Active Citizens Fund from Iceland, Liechtenstein an Norway through the EEA Grants.