At the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum, held in Stuttgart on 23-24 October 2018, Stuttgart became the second city to commit to turn the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights into concrete actions at local level. Stuttgart will invest €3 million a year to meet principle 17 on the inclusion of people with disabilities.
The participation of people with disabilities has been at the heart of the city council of Stuttgart for many years. In 2015, Stuttgart adopted an action plan to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and agreed on guiding principles to make processes, structures and services accessible to all, including people with disabilities. Over the next years, the city will invest over €3 million into measures for the inclusion of people with disabilities:
- €1 million in suitable housing for disabled persons and seniors
- €110,000 each year on equal participation in recreational, sports and cultural activities
- €1 million in barrier-free mobilities
- €860,000 in inclusion in schools
- €53,000 each year to promote political participation of people with disabilities
- create new jobs to employ people with disabilities
- as a first step, the city council appointed an officer for people with disabilities.
Stuttgart's deputy mayor for social affairs and integration, Mr. Werner Wölfle, announced the pledge in the opening of the EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum. He said: "A stronger social Europe is an inclusive Europe. Social rights should be guaranteed for all people in the EU in order to consolidate a united Europe. An inclusive Europe has the objective of one open society that addresses the needs of all people. In Stuttgart, we strive for barrier-free and self-determined access for all people equally, including people with disabilities. We believe all citizens, independent of their disability or their age, ethnic origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or ideology, have the right to timely and individual support to achieve full participation in society. For this reason, Stuttgart promotes principle 17 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. We will continue our budgetary and investment efforts over the next years and introduce further inclusion porogrammes focusing on people with disabilities. Through our efforts at local level, we will support the European, national and regional strategies".
Stuttgart's deputy mayor personally handed over his signed commitment to the European Commission Director for Social Affairs, Ms. Katarina Ivanković-Knežević, who in exchange handed over a symbolic copy of the 20 principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. She expressed her support by saying: “The European Pillar of Social Rights is our compass to ensure that everyone equally benefits from new opportunities! Cities have a vital role in making social rights a reality on the ground. Thank you Stuttgart for recognising the role and the importance of Pillar!”
EUROCITIES is working to build political momentum amongst members to grow the number of pledges supporting the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights at local level. By committing to the principles of the EU social pillar, city mayors and deputy mayors can take further steps to ensure equal opportunities and social rights for all people, which could receive support from the European Social Fund+ in 2021-2027.
Let us work together to make social rights a reality for all people in our cities! If your city is interested to join this campaign with a pledge, please contact EUROCITIES.
Please find below Stuttgart's pledge to the European Pillar of Social Rights and the press release.