Dear Ms Bertulessi,
Dear Ms Ivankovic-Knezevic,
Dear Ms Paraskevas,
On behalf of the EU Alliance for Investing in Children we would like to thank you for joining us for an online meeting on 24 June.
Your presence and input were much appreciated at this important point in time of developing the Child Guarantee. As you are aware of, the EU Alliance is committed to help realise this important policy priority and is encouraged by the commitment of all EU institutions to its development.
We were pleased to hear that you are considering the policy framework to take shape in a Council Recommendation; that would incentivise national implementation plans and EU level monitoring. We also welcome the broad integrated approach to preventing and reducing child poverty.
Regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework, we congratulate you and Commissioner Schmit in proposing the 5% of ESF+ resources in every EU Member State to be allocated to fight child poverty. It is already a great achievement for promoting children’s wellbeing in EU policies, and we will work to support its adoption by heads of state and government in the EU budget negotiations.
However, we are all aware that 5% of Member States’ ESF+ resources will not tackle child poverty in the EU. Thankfully, there are other EU funds such as the ERDF, the AMIF, the InvestEU and more Funds as well as national budgets that will be able to support the reduction of child poverty.
We are also aware that the Commission’s position is that EU funds should be used in a strategic and sustainable way.
This is why we place a strong emphasis on policy and funding going together. The EU Alliance for Investing in Children has been calling the European Commission to launch its proposal for a Child Guarantee Council Recommendation as soon as possible. There is a very important reason for this.
The COVID19 is going to deepen poverty and child poverty in the EU. The EU cannot afford to lose time in development of policies that are not linked to financial resources and financial resources that are spent in ad-hoc activities. It would be a missed opportunity.
At the same time child poverty should be seen in a more expanded manner and not only as children’s rights to access services. Accessing quality and affordable universal and targeted services is of course crucial but ensuring that children live in households in which parents are supported to rightfully take care of their children is just as important.
Hence, our position is that the Chid Guarantee Council Recommendation should be based on the 2013 European Commission Recommendation on Investing in Children which took a comprehensive approach in tackling child poverty by looking at parents access to resources, children’s access to services and children’s participation in cultural activities and decision making.
We are aware that the next months are crucial, we would therefore like to offer our sincere support in:
➢ Securing a comprehensive approach in the Child Guarantee Council Recommendation that encourages all EU Member States to put in place implementation plans based on the existing three-pillar approach (access to resources and benefits; access to services of high quality; child participation in culture and leisure as well as in decision-making).
➢ Helping to ensure that EU resources are spent strategically to promote the implementation of the Child Guarantee Council Recommendation.
➢ Mobilising our respective membership on the ground to help monitor this important initiative.
We thank you for your continued cooperation.
With best regards,
Anita Bay, EU Director and Representative, Save the Children
Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General, Eurochild
Elizabeth Gosme, Secretary General, COFACE Families Europe
Freek Spinnewijn, Director, FEANTSA
Luk Zenderloo, Secretary General, European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities – EASPD