PES Social Europe Network: Child Guarantee brings Social Europe one step closer

PES Social Europe Network: Child Guarantee brings Social Europe one step closer

The PES SEN Chair, Agnes Jongerius MEP, said:

“We must make sure that post-pandemic Europe is not scarred by hardship for citizens, and particularly for the next generation. Even before COVID-19, a quarter of children in the EU were at risk of poverty. 

“I strongly welcome the Child Guarantee put forward by Nicolas Schmit. This initiative has been a priority for socialists and democrats, as part of our drive to tackle inequality in housing, healthcare, nutrition, childcare and education for vulnerable children. The Guarantee will remediate the worst elements of child poverty.

“Following on from the Social Action Plan and the pay transparency directive, the Child Guarantee is another vital step towards a strong Social Europe. The Porto Summit will be a key milestone on this journey, and the EU must commit to clear and binding social targets to be reached in 2030. We must secure a paradigm shift, with zero deaths at work, reducing poverty by half and quality jobs for all citizens in Europe.”

The socialist family presented the Child Guarantee in 2014 to fight child poverty across Europe. Since then, progressives – including through the PES Social Europe Network – have led the campaign to ensure decent housing and adequate nutrition, as well as free quality education, childcare and healthcare for all children. The Guarantee – presented last week by European Commissioner Schmit – calls on all EU governments to submit national action plans to deliver on these objectives.

The Network also welcomed the Social Action Plan and targets to implement the Pillar’s principles presented by Commission Schmit last month. The Social Action Plan is an important step towards achieving tangible social progress, something which Socialists and Democrats have been campaigning for since the 2017 Gothenburg Summit – hosted by Prime Minister Löfven – where the Pillar was proclaimed. As the Porto Summit approaches – hosted by another progressive leader: Prime Minister Costa – the efforts to implement the Pillar and the wider Social Europe agenda are building up.

The meeting also held an exchange on the Directive on adequate and fair minimum wages in the EU and the broader progressive push for decent wages in Europe. The Network emphasised the importance of fair pay for all citizens, secured through law or strong collective bargaining. Progressives will continue to closely follow the negotiations on the Directive in the European Parliament and Council.   

The SEN also held an initial discussion on papers on workers’ conditions during the pandemic and ensuring decent pensions across the EU.