On 17 November 2017, the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the EU will sign the inter-institutional proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Gothenburg,(1) which reiterates commitments to promote social inclusion and the rights of the child.(2) The future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) should contribute to translate these commitments into action.
More than 20 organisations within the EU Alliance for Investing in Children urge the EU institutions and its Member States to invest in children and develop a future MFF that works to end child poverty and promotes the social inclusion of all children in Europe.
The future of Europe depends on investing in children, in particular in children and families in vulnerable situations. The EU and its Member States need to act urgently to protect around 25 million children estimated to be living in or at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
Growing up in poverty can negatively affect children’s opportunities for the rest of their lives, with far-reaching consequences – for instance, on their future education, health, participation in the labour market and society. Acting early on child poverty and investing in early childhood education and care is not only a moral imperative, it is also a cost-effective measure.
The MFF is an important instrument for the EU and its Member States to leave no-one behind and to invest in children. In June 2017, the Council of the EU stressed the EU’ and Member States’ commitment to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including through greater efforts to promote social inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as children.(3)
The Commission’s Reflection Paper on the Future of EU Finances acknowledged that investing in people, from education and training to health equality and social inclusion, is the overarching priority for the EU.(4)
The EU Alliance for Investing in Children fully supports these commitments and is proposing six recommendations to ensure that the next MFF invests in children:
1. Ending child poverty and social exclusion in Europe should be a clear and visible priority in the next MFF.
2. The next MFF should be underpinned by a strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Recommendation on Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage. (5)
3. The size of the next MFF should be adequate to fight child poverty in Europe.
4. The next MFF should promote a life cycle approach to social investment and social protection.
5. The EU funds aiming at poverty reduction and social inclusion under the next MFF should be linked to national poverty reduction strategies and action plans.
6. The simplification of the rules of the future MFF should aim to further promote the engagement of stakeholders, including CSOs, and increase funds absorption.
More information about the recommendations on the EU Alliance for Investing in Children webpage
The EU Alliance for Investing in Children has been advocating for a multidimensional, rights-based approach to tackling child poverty and promoting child well-being since 2014.
This statement was endorsed by the following partner organisations of the EU Alliance for Investing in Children: Alliance for Childhood European Network Group; ATD Quart Monde; Caritas Europa; COFACE Families Europe; Don Bosco International; Dynamo International – Street Workers Network; Eurochild; Eurodiaconia; EuroHealthNet; European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities – EASPD; European Anti-Poverty Network – EAPN; European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless – FEANTSA; European Parents’ Association – EPA; European Network of Social Authorities – ENSA; European Public Health Alliance – EPHA; European Social Network – ESN; Mental Health Europe; Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM); Save the Children; SOS Children’s Villages.
(2) European Commission, Council, European Parliament “Proposal for an interinstitutional proclamation endorsing the European Pillar of Social Rights” : “The Union shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child”