Mayor of Turku Minna Arve has signed a strong commitment to the European Pillar of Social Rights. Turku’s pledge emphasizes the importance of preventing social exclusion, especially among young people and active support for employment.

The European Pillar of Social Rights was launched in November 2017 to deliver new and more effective rights for citizens. To support the realization of the European Pillar of Social Rights and to bring forth work done by cities EUROCITIES launched ‘Inclusive Cities for All: Social Rights in My City’ campaign at the end of the year 2018. The campaign also tries to increase cities’ funding opportunities during the upcoming multiannual financial framework (2021-2027). Turku was the 12th city to sign a pledge.

Turku’s Mayor Minna Arve signed a strong commitment to principle 3 on equal opportunities and principle 4 on active support to employment. To tackle health and socio-economic inequalities, Turku is committed to promote equal opportunities of youth and people living in all neighbourhoods, especially in the most deprived areas especially by

  • piloting new operating models to improve access to city services and
  • providing new participatory tools and training to city officials for involving people from all neighbourhoods in planning and decision-making of city measures.

To provide active support to employment, Turku invests €20 million annually to reach 2,000 unemployed people each year with tailored support. The city for instance

  • provides individual assessment and personalised support for job search, training and re-qualification,
  • ensures an employment service point that includes a centre of excellence on employment services for immigrants, and
  • delivers Youth Guarantee schemes to ensure that each young person under 25 and recently graduated people under 30 can have a job, traineeship or continued education or training.

Turku's Mayor Minna Arve said: “A stronger social Europe is only possible if people have equal opportunities to health and well-being. In Turku, we invest our efforts to make our city a good place to live and succeed together. Our special attention is to encourage young people, vulnerable groups and people in deprived neighbourhoods to participate in our city".

At the moment, 20 other cities have also signed the pledge: Madrid, Stuttgart, Gothenburg, Ljubljana, Braga, Vienna, Barcelona, Timisoara, Nantes, Leipzig, Warsaw, Athens, Leeds, Ghent, Glasgow, Lille, Milan, Malmo, Utrecht and Lyon.

Referring to the campaign EUROCITIES organized an event at the European Parliament 21.2.2019 attended by, among others, representatives of the cities who signed a pledge, members of the European Parliament and civil servants of the European Commission. The purpose of the event was to point out what cities are doing in concrete terms for the wellbeing of our citizens. Altogether 21 undersigned cities have engaged to invest €4,3 billion during the following 5 years to tackle deprivation and social exclusion.

Turku’s pledge: