Bilbao joined the EUROCITIES campaign ‘Inclusive Cities for All’ with a city pledge to deliver support to children and the elderly, principles 11 and 18 of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Bilbao is both a Child-Friendly City (recognised by UNICEF in 2018) and an Age-Friendly City (recognised by WHO in 2012). The city has put child policies and active ageing policies at the core of its city Pact for Social Policies adopted in 2018, recognising the need to address both the population ageing and low birth rates in the city through bold social actions.
The city's Mayor, Juan Mari Aburto, said: "Bilbao is committed to social cohesion and equal opportunities for all citizens by offering them universal access to care, education and social services. We focus all our policies on the values of solidarity, dignity and social progress, in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights".
Commitment to principle 11 on childcare and support to children
Bilbao is committed to guarantee children's rights, improve social inclusion of children from vulnerable groups and promote child participation. To achieve this, the city has put in place a holistic City Plan for Children and Young People for 2018-2021 with a budget of €78 million, resulting in:
- setting up the Municipal Council for Children and Young People
- cross-sectoral collaboration between 14 municipal departments and services on child policies
- targeted programmes for prevention and social intervention, both at inidividual and community level, with psycho-social support to families at risk of social exclusion, including a dedicated programme for people from the Roma community
- socio-educational programmes to tackle school absenteeism
- two-day care centres
Commitment to principle 18 on long-term care
Bilbao is committed to promote active ageing, participation and improve the quality of life of the elderly. To achieve this, the city has put in place Bilbao Age-Friendly City initiative, promoting an innovative approach to elderly care, resulting in:
- Telecare - a telemonitoring service to monitor the health of people with chronic conditions at home
- Home Help service to offer technical support to adapt homes for elderly care at home
- support and accompaniment services for elderly who live alone at home
- 'Active Search' programme (Mirada Activa) to identify and support elderly who live alone
- supporting and collborating with 53 local elderly associations to reach out to elderly in need
- investing in maintenance and equipping of Nursing Home Centre
Bilbao will take this commitment further when in 2022 will launch the Nagusi Intelligence Center as a centre for research and innovation into ageing and the opportunities of the silver economy.
EUROCITIES campaign 'Inclusive Cities for All' continues with new impetus
This city pledge is part of the EUROCITIES initiative ‘Inclusive cities for all: Social Rights in my city’. This initiative mobilises mayors and deputy mayors to implement the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights at local level. EUROCITIES will continue this campaign throughout 2020 as part of its strategic partnership with the European Commission under the Employment and Social Innovation programme.
Our campaign is now even more important to build capacity of cities to address the social impact of the coronavirus crisis . We want to show how cities have stepped up during the crisis as guardians of social rights and acting to protect the most vulnerable people, and how cities are working hard to ensure a fair and inclusive recovery, leaving no one behind.
Is your city working to push forward equality and inclusion policies at local level? Do you want to make your city known as a champion 'inclusive city for all'? Join our campaign by submitting a (new) city pledge on one or several of the 20 principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. All new city pledges submitted until mid-September will be announced during our digital high-level conference with the European Parliament on 30 September.
Read Bilbao's pledge below.