Families on the move 2017: Four political hot topics on the agenda

Brussels, 12 May 2017 | COFACE Families Europe and two of its Belgian members Gezinsbond and La Ligue des Familles are jointly organising the conference “Families on the move” that will take place today in Brussels from 9 am to 4.30 pm (CET) at the centre of Europe at the Higher Institute for Family Studies-Odisee.

The European Commission released on April 26 the European Pillar of Social Rights, in the form of a Recommendation listing key principles for driving the future EU social policy agenda. COFACE Families Europe has been pushing the EU for years now to recognise the social, economic and demographic needs of our societies. It is clear from the European Commission’s newly adopted Recommendations that the European Union is making a first attempt finally to respond concretely to the needs of 21st century families, launching a big reflection on the future of the social dimension of Europe.

With our conference today we focus on the four main drivers that will impact family life in 2020: inequalities, education, migration and work-life balance and care systems. Families are dynamic entities, they are on the move and witnessing a further widening of the scissors of inequality in Europe. If we want to build a cohesive and strong Europe we need to assure the rights of EU citizens are respected. It may not be a matter of being in the right place at the right time, says Annemie Drieskens, COFACE Families Europe’s President.

COFACE Families Europe will now take stock with 100+ key stakeholders from 20+ countries at the Families on the Move conference on 12th May in Brussels. Families are on the move in Europe, they are moving economically, digitally, geographically, socially, and these represent big challenges that require immediate action in the form of policy, legislation and support services to empower families:

The economic challenges of families moving internally in the EU for work reasons, and the need for services and benefits to support them.

The digital challenges posed by the increasing digitalisation of our lives, and the need to empower families to “take back the internet”.

The migration challenges faced by the EU continent, trying to shape the current debates by highlighting the difficulties of families moving geographically from outside Europe to the EU.

The social challenges linked to demographic changes, as well as changing lifestyles and family structures raising new issues of work-life balance and care responsibilities.

Workshop speakers include representatives from European and national civil society, the European Commission, the Organisation for European Cooperation and Development, the UNHCR, Migration Policy Group, Council of Europe, European and national social partners (ETUC, Business Europe, Dutch trade unions), researchers from universities involved in different EU-wide projects, policy-makers in national government, company representatives, and more. All key players for shaping future EU policy and legislation to improve the quality of life of families.

Follow the debates on Twitter using #FamiliesMoveEU


More about the Families on the Move conference
Reflection Paper of the European Commission on the social dimension of Europe
European Pillar of Social Rights

More information, please contact:

Ana Pérez, Communication manager COFACE Families Europe   +322 500 56 93

Note to the editor:
COFACE Families Europe is a network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families. COFACE Families Europe’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:

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