Families on the Move conference – 12 May, Brussels

COFACE Families Europe and two of its Belgian members Gezinsbond and La Ligue des Familles jointly organised the “Families on the Move” conference on 12 May at the Higher Institute for Family Studies-Odisee in Brussels. COFACE Families Europe took stock of emerging challenges, together with 100+ key stakeholders from 20+ countries at the conference.

Workshop speakers included key players for shaping future EU policy and legislation to improve the quality of life of families: representatives from European and national civil society, the European Commission, OECD, the UNHCR, Migration Policy Group, European and national social partners, researchers from universities involved in different EU-wide projects, policy-makers in national government, company representatives, and more.

The conference package included:
1 networking dinner
1 plenary
4 thematic workshops
6 networking hotspots around different EU projects.

You can read some highlights of the day on Twitter using #FamiliesMoveEU
More information:
Press release


Workshops reports:

Report Workshop on Economic move: Portability of benefits and services for families moving within the EU: breaking down key legal and practical barriers

Report Workshop on Digital move: Empowering families to move freely online: harnessing the full potential of the internet through genuine data portability

Report Workshop on Geographic move: Separated families moving across borders: how to make the right to family reunification a reality for third country nationals of the EU?

Report Workshop on Social move: The societal shift in parenting and working roles: legislation as driver to achieve work-life balance for all


Speakers’ Presentations:

Workshop on Economic move

Comparing social security portability in the EU: transnational comparison
Dr. Emma Carmel, Associate Professor – University of Bath, UK

Diverse Families on the Move: barriers and challenges from a citizenship rights perspective
Dr. Mara Yerkes, Assistant Professor – Utrecht University, The Netherlands

My European Voluntary Service (EVS) without barriers. A worthy challenge
Kamil Goungor – European Network on Independent Living, Greece

Update of social security coordination rules
Carla Osman, Legal Officer – DG EMPL, European Commission

Experiences of the Nordic cooperation to support citizens moving with their services and benefits
Håkan Stoor, Senior legal adviser – Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman of Finland

Awareness-raising campaigns on the kind of community-based support needed for families moving between cities
Marie Nyssens, President – La Ligue des familles, Belgium

Workshop on Digital move

Online freedom without censorship and harassment – is it really possible?
Dimitar Dimitrov – Wikimedia Foundation

Divide and conquer – the security of small?
Joe McNamee – EDRi, European Digital Rights

Empowering individuals through open and decentralized solutions
Nicolas Collignon & Ricardo Mendes – Homebrew Website Club Brussels, Belgium

Internet and Democracy: priorities for research and innovation
Fabrizio Sestini – Next Generation Internet, DG CNECT, European Commission

Portability under the GDPR: Key requirements and open questions
Gloria Gonzalez Fuster – VUB Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS)

Workshop on Geographic move

The right to family reunification: figures and trends in the EU
Thomas Huddleston, Programme Director – Migration Policy Group

Exercising a right: challenges and experiences from the ground. The German example
Swenja Gerhard – Association of Binational Families and Partnerships, Germany

Family Reunification of Third Country Nationals in the EU: review of National Practices
Samantha Arnold, Researcher – European Migration Network (EMN), Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland

EU law and policy: the role of the EU Commission and upcoming work on family reunification
Katri Niskanen, Policy officer – DG Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission

EU law and policy: the perspective and role of NGOs
Doris Peschke, Secretary General, CCME and Chair EPAM – European Platform on Asylum and Migration

Family reunion for refugees: recommendations to the EU
Pauline Chaigne, Senior Policy Associate – UNHCR EU Office

Workshop on Social move

Walking the tightrope: tensions between work and family commitments in OECD countries
Olivier Thevenon, Economist, Social Policy Division – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Families under increasing pressure in Flanders: lack of time around childbirth
Elke Valgaeren, Head of research – Gezinsbond, Belgium

Workplace measures on reconciliation in The Netherlands: progress to date and the challenges ahead
Jessica van Ruitenburg, Policy Advisor for FNV – The Netherlands Trade Union Movement

The response of the EU to the work-life balance needs of families: a mix of legislative and non-legislative measures
Manuela Geleng, Head of Unit – DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

The reconciliation policy mix in Germany: State of play and future priorities
Mark Kamperhoff, Head of Unit EU – Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany

Reactions from the Social Partners
Maxime Cerrutti, Director of social affairs – Business Europe
Cinzia Sechi, Advisor – European Trade Union Confederation

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