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Eurochild: Countries not ‘motivated enough’ to tackle child poverty

The countries of Europe are not being ‘motivated’ enough to properly tackle child poverty which remains ‘persistently high’, according to children’s advocacy network Eurochild,

A new report by Eurochild says the 2019 European Semester – the EU framework for socio-economic coordination – is not being effective in a number of areas, including the protection of vulnerable children and preventing families being broken up.

Policymakers and other child rights stakeholders were told at the Towards No child poverty in Europe 2030 event that Eurochild’s analysis of the 22 countries showed that child poverty was still not being given the attention it deserved, and that child participation in the decision-making processes was still ‘underdeveloped’.

‘Make children’s well-being an explicit focus’

The report, New opportunities for investing in children, comes at a time when Europe’s next strategic direction is under discussion with the start of the new legislature. Eurochild makes the case for prioritising children, and setting corresponding EU targets in the next policy framework guiding the European Semester.

It also offers its own alternatives to the country specific recommendations in light of assessments made by 29 Eurochild members. It comments furthermore, on the links between policy monitoring and the use of EU funding; and makes recommendations to EU decision-makers for ensuring the overall process is more inclusive and leads to better outcomes for children.

‘Eurochild’s members are calling for national strategies’

Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General, Eurochild, said: “Eurochild has engaged with the European Semester since 2011. While there is greater visibility of children, there has been little improvement in children’s lives. Child poverty remains too high across Europe. The next 5-year cycle of the EU offers an opportunity to ramp up investment and political action. We look to the EU to set ambitious targets and to catalyse national action with the European Child Guarantee initiative.”

The report recommends:

  • Including children in the successor to the Europe 2020 Strategy
  • Link EU funding and the European Semester together to promote the social dimension of policies
  • Make children’s well-being an explicit focus in the 2020 Semester’s Country Reports
  • Make the engagement of civil society in the European Semester a requirement for both Member States and the European Commission.

‘Child poverty remains too high across Europe’

Eurochild says that despite persistent rates of child poverty being a common issue of concern across Europe, ranging from countries with high GDP to lower GDP countries, national and European measures and funding did not provide adequate solutions. Eurochild’s members are collectively calling for national strategies to tackle child poverty, boosted by the opportunity of the European Child Guarantee initiative.

Read the full report here and individual country sections here.

Author: Simon Weedy

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