New research project examines changes in family formation and social policies across Europe
What will families look like in
the future? Are existing social- and family policies compatible with changes in
family patterns? A major European research project investigating the diversity
of family forms, relationships and life courses in Europe in relation to
policies, will be launched in February 2013. The project has secured a grant of
€6.5m from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for a four-year period.
by Livia Oláh, Associate Professor at the Stockholm University Demography Unit
(SUDA), Dept. of Sociology, researchers from 25 leading universities and
research institutes in 15 European countries and three transnational civil
society organizations will work together within the project entitled 'Families And Societies - Changing
families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life
course and across generations'
the past decades family structures in Europe
have become increasingly complex linked to decreasing marriage rates, high
and/or rapidly increasing age of first birth and increasing rates of divorce
and separation. These trends have resulted in an increasing diversity of living
arrangements alongside the nuclear family of married couple with children.
Hence, the points of departure for the project are that family life courses are
becoming more complex and diverse, that individuals’ lives are interdependent –linked within and across generations– and that individual life courses are
shaped by social contexts and policies.
FAMILYPLATFORM was a social platform funded by the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme involving twelve organisations from leading research institutes and family associations, among which COFACE, working together to elaborate a European research agenda on the family. Representatives from scientific, policy and civil society organisations have been consulted at every step of the way. Their input has been central to the overall character and content of the research agenda.
FamilyPlatform’s aim was to develop and publish a European Research Agenda for Research on Families and Family Policy, in order to enable policy makers and others to respond to current and future challenges facing families.
Four concrete steps were taken towards elaborating the Research Agenda:
(1) Charting the contemporary field of research on families and family policy in the EU.
(2) Critically reviewing existing research involving a wide range of stakeholders.
(3) An innovative exercise to identify future challenges facing families, so as to highlight future policy issues and develop questions for future research.
(4) Bringing together all of the work into a Research Agenda on Families and Family Wellbeing for Europe.
More than 120 civil society representatives, policy makers, and scientific experts were involved in the work of FamilyPlatform. The sharing and negotiating of sometimes contradictory perspectives and thoughts was an exciting challenge for everyone involved, resulting in a great deal of shared learning.
Families in Europe – Volume 1: Family Wellbeing: Challenges for Research and Policy
This publication includes edited versions of the final reports of work on Major Trends, Critical Review, Future of Families, and the Research Agenda. It should be indispensable reading for all policy makers, researchers, and other stakeholders involved in working towards improving the wellbeing of families in Europe.
Families in Europe – Volume 2: Spotlights on Contemporary Family Life
This publication contains edited versions of all of the Volumes of the Online Journals produced by FamilyPlatform: Structures and Forms, Solidarities in Contemporary European Families, Demography and the Family in Europe, and Volunteering and Families. Shedding light on important cross-cutting issues affecting families in Europe - and issues which are already high up the European policy agenda.
Published on 19 Nov 2009
Updated on 20 Feb 2013