On 17 February the European Commission held the closing conference on the first phase of the feasibility study for a Child Guarantee.
The event attracted a broad audience - national policy makers, EU officials, Members of Parliament, civil society representatives, academics, practitioners. Eurochild’s delegation included member organisations from six countries:
- Mária Herczog, Family, Child, Youth Association Hungary - Hungary
- Ricardo Ibarra, Plataforma de la Infancia – Spain
- Mary Nicholson, Children’s Rights Alliance Ireland – Ireland
- Nina Ohlmeier, German Children’s Fund – Germany
- George Bogdanov, National Network for Children – Bulgaria
- Hanna Heinonen, Central Union for Child Welfare, Finland
The event was opened by European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit who said “In all EU Member States there are children living in poverty, including in the richer countries, some of them even experienced increases recently. This is unacceptable. My mandate which is also all ours based on the Pillar of Social Rights is to guarantee children the right to protection from poverty.”
Success! Commission agrees to draft a Council Recommendation to push for national support
The European Commission confirmed at the event that it will propose a governance framework on the Child Guarantee, in the form of a Council Recommendation. This will correspond to the implementation of the Pillar of Social Rights. It will also secure more national level engagement than a Commission Recommendation, and have a strong monitoring and follow-up, targets and indicators. This commitment reflects the calls made by Eurochild together with the EU Alliance for Investing in Children. The European Commission will make its proposal before the second phase of the feasibility study is completed.
Jana Hainsworth, Eurochild Secretary General, spoke in the panel of civil society representatives on behalf of the EU Alliance for Investing in Children, and announced the launch of the statement calling for the Child Guarantee Council Recommendation to be launched as soon as possible in 2020 to keep the timeline of EU budget negotiations. The Commissioner addressed this call with a plea for time and capacity to take learnings from the first phase and the suggestion to link the Child Guarantee to a broader poverty strategy.