6 February 2013, Brussels – The ICA and COFACE are enormously proud of having successfully organised the first major conference in Dublin, during the Irish Presidency 2013.
The support of the Department of Children and Youth affairs, under the leadership of Minister Frances Fitzgerald went out of their way to ensure the high level and visibility of the conference. We were honoured by the participation of both Ministers Frances Fitzgerald and Joan Burton at our event.
Over the course of the two days, more than 200 international participants representing the majority of EU Member States engaged in a wide variety of plenary and breakout sessions with a very ambitious agenda. The conference gave a fantastic opportunity to the many Irish and other European organisations to network, exchange ideas and innovative solutions, hopefully creating the foundation for future partnerships.
The overall objective was successfully achieved by giving a voice to the most vulnerable families in Europe, without judgement or prejudice.
The main outcome of the conference is the Roadmap for Vulnerable Families 2020, seeking concrete solutions and effective policies to overcome the barriers faced by a growing number of highly vulnerable families to enjoy their rights and fully participate in the labour market and society.
As is pointed out by Liz Wall, National President of the Irish Countryomen’s Association, “It is a great achievement for the ICA, after 40 years of working together with COFACE to bring a second family conference to Ireland during the Irish Presidency, highlighting the need for European policies to protect the most vulnerable families in Europe”.
In her closing remarks, Annemie Drieskens, President of COFACE called for a recognition and respect of the diversity of families across Europe. In addition, she pointed out, that “Through building innovative, sustainable partnerships between civil society organisations and the political level, can we make effective policies and programmes that will bring about change, and empower families. COFACE and our Members will ensure that these issues remain high on the political agenda of the European Union”.
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Note to the editor
COFACE is a network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families. COFACE’s areas of work include social/family policy, education, disability, gender equality, migration, consumer issues, and also protection of children online, privacy, data protection and reflections on technological developments and how they may impact families. More: www.coface-eu.org