Kick-off video address to citizens by European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit – Full speech & transcript

Full transcript below:

Brussels, September 2020

Dear Friends of COFACE Families Europe,

Just about a year ago, I was preparing to start in my position as Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights. Since then, our lives aand our work have changed dramatically. Beyond what we could have imagined. If anything, this only reinforced my commitment and our joint effort to strengthen the EU’s social dimension, a core objective of this Commission.

In her SOTEU address, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, set out a vision of an EU that creates opportunities for future generations. Indeed this means that we are building the world European citizens want to live in.

A healthier, stronger, fairer, more humane and respectful world where we want our children to live tomorrow. We must do more to give children and young people the care, education and opportunities they need.

We know that in the EU, close to 1 in 4 children are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.  But these figures pre-date the COVID-19 crisis.

Parents, particularly single parents, carers in poorly paid work, or without a job, are sometimes unable to meet their children’s most basic needs.

This is not a fact of life we should accept. We have to invest in our children. Investing in children means investing in our future and building resilient societies.

Every child must have a safe place to live. This also means a healthy natural environment. We all have to take our children’s concerns about climate change seriously. That’s also the objective ofthe EU Green Deal.

Every child should have enough food, and quality food, to eat, access to healthcare, and the chance to thrive at school.

This is what the Commission will try to achieve with the European Child Guarantee. To break the cycle of poverty, to ensure equality opportunities, and to support their well-being. Make no mistake, the root causes of child poverty are complex.

We have no silver bullet to solve this challenge, but we have to make sure that children’s well-being is high on the agenda, while the EU and the Member States are working at tackling the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

The National Plans for Resilience and recovery need to focus on social investments, devote adequate resources, and develop policies at all levels for children and families.

We have published a roadmap on this initiative, and I warmly invite you to send your feedback by October 7th. The European Child Guarantee will form part of the action plan for the implementation for the European Pillar of Social Rights, which will include a series of measures benefitting children, parents and social services.

You have been our trusted partners in our quest to better the lives of children, families, communities across Europe for many years now. I look forward to continue working with you.

 

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