FAMILY AND SOCIAL POLICIES
COFACE advocates for a mainstreaming of the family dimension across a large spectrum of EU and national policies in order to meet the variety of family needs.
Families need resources, time and services: ensuring minimum income and financial support to families is crucial to tackle intergenerational transmission of poverty, while reconciling family and working times is key to enable men and women to enter or return to the labour market with family responsibilities. Finally, services such as childcare, social assistance, health services, housing etc. are the most essential support for families.
COFACE identifies the following concrete priorities both for EU and national policy makers:
- The establishment of a minimum income taking into account the specific needs of families;The provision of universal child benefits, designed as a right for all children;
- The availability of child-care services, long-term care and other essential quality services for families;
- The creation of inclusive labour markets providing quality jobs, easily accessible for men and women with family responsibilities;
- The promotion of job retention through measures for reconciling family and professional life;
- The promotion of measures to support a return to the labour market for men and women who had a career break for family reasons;
- The recognition of the same value for both professional work and family work (e.g. for pension rights) for both men and women;
- The promotion of the role of men in the family and the subsequent changes in work organisation and mentalities.
Other COFACE work addresses the role of personal income taxation in preventing family poverty, or the influence of maintenance payments for combating poverty among lone-parent families.
COFACE welcomes the designation of 2012 as European Year on Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity, and recalls the need for a complementary family/public solidarity where caring for dependent elderly people is paramount, in order to foster social inclusion.
Finally, COFACE is convinced that the family dimension should be fully incorporated within the EU 2020 Strategy, the new EU strategy for equality between women and men and the EU strategy on the rights of the child.
The Open Method of Coordination in the field of social protection and social inclusion and the European Alliance for families have offered in the past a very valuable tool for good practice exchange among Member States, and should thus be maintained and improved.
Published on 29 May 2007
Updated on 29 Nov 2012