Brussels, 15 May 2019, MEDIA RELEASE
On the International Day of Families 2019, COFACE Families Europe calls on its members and partners to mobilise massively for the European elections to safeguard a social, inclusive and democratic Europe.
We are a pluralistic European network of civil society organisations. We represent and support millions of families of all types without discrimination. Families play an essential role in society. For over 60 years, COFACE Families Europe has listened to the needs of families in the EU, striving to ensure they all have access to sufficient financial resources, available quality services and adequate time arrangements.
These are challenging times, and we try to provide a strong voice for families as citizens, as consumers, as workers. We do this especially in driving the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, striving to build a family-friendly Europe. We welcome very much the agreement on the EU work-life balance directive recently struck after negotiations between Commission, Council and Parliament. The road was full of hurdles but a very important milestone for families was achieved.
The upcoming European elections are a central part of the democratic process, and we need a strong European Parliament to support policies and laws founded on core democratic values of gender equality, non-discrimination, social inclusion, solidarity, and human rights. These basic values are under threat today in a number of countries, which is deeply worrying.
- Gender equality in some countries is being challenged. In the 21st century, we need to allow both men and women to work and care for their family. We need to encourage men to take up their family-responsabilities and close the “gender care gap”.
- There are still hate crimes and discrimination against families on the move and migrants. This is simply unacceptable.
- There are growing inequalities. Too many families are left behind with no access to decent work, services, housing, and too many children are living in poverty.
- The shrinking civic space in some countries is a disfavour to our European societies. Civil society organisations need more support than ever as they are watchdogs and agents of change drawing attention to emerging needs and upholding human rights.
“In view of these challenges and in view of the upcoming European elections, we urge our European network as well as friends of COFACE Families Europe to inform and mobilise families all over Europe to vote next week using 10 core values as a compass. Political parties and candidates with clear objectives and ambitions which meet ALL 10 values are the ones we want to see sitting in the new European Parliament for the next five years. This is the only way to continue building a social, inclusive and democratic Europe”, says Annemie Drieskens, President of COFACE Families Europe.
We invite you to spread our call to action and to encourage all families to speak out through their vote. Do not be afraid to defend the importance and the impact of Europe in your daily lives and strike a conversation at the family dinner table about the European elections. You might agree to disagree, but that is the beauty of democracy. Let’s not take it for granted.
>Accessibility: A Europe which promotes the participation of persons with disabilities and their families in all areas of life.
>>Child Well-Being: A Europe which invests in the health and education of children.
>>Empowerment: A Europe which gives a voice to all families to act as citizens, consumers, and workers, with strong support for European and national civil society organisations.
>>Equal Opportunities: A Europe which believes in equality between women and men, as a cornerstone for achieving reconciliation between family and professional life.
>>Internet For All: A Europe which harnesses the transformative power of technology.
>>Non-discrimination: A Europe recognising ALL family forms.
>>Respect of Human Rights: A Europe which advances the rights of ALL families and their members.
>>Social Inclusion: A Europe which tackles poverty and social exclusion of families and their members, through access to resources and community-based services.
>>Solidarity: A Europe which promotes intergenerational solidarity, with full support and recognition of the role of family carers.
>>Sustainability: A Europe which wants to make the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals a reality.
- Inform yourself on the EU and EU elections: http://www.coface-eu.org/campaigns-2/european-elections-2019-where-to-start/
- Call to action in multiple languages: http://www.coface-eu.org/europe/national-campaign-resources/
- Tools for reuse: http://www.coface-eu.org/share-our-messages/