PES Social Europe Network hails introduction of European Child Guarantee

PES Social Europe Network hails introduction of European Child Guarantee

The Porto Summit – an important moment that refocused the EU on addressing poverty, job quality, and the social impact of the coronavirus crisis – opened a new window of opportunity to progress Social Europe, which the EU cannot afford to waste.

Chair of the Social Europe Network, Agnes Jongerius MEP, said:

“Thanks to the European Child Guarantee, there will be fewer children living in poverty in Europe. This policy shows that we can tackle big social issues together as Europeans.

“Socialists and democrats have been pushing for this policy since 2014. Now, we can be proud that it has been introduced with dedicated funding in the ESF+. It will be a key contributor to achieving the EU’s target of five million fewer children at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2030, as set out in the Social Action Plan.

“The Child Guarantee shows what can be done, and now we must be just as ambitious in other areas, guaranteeing fair wages, the right to disconnect, decent pensions and so much more. The Porto Summit opened a new window of opportunity for Social Europe, let’s not waste it. We must make change tangible and visible for citizens. COVID-19 has made this even more necessary and even more urgent.”

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and its social and economic impact, 25% of children in the EU were at risk of poverty. The European Child Guarantee – adopted on Monday – aims to address this by guaranteeing access to housing, healthcare, nutrition, childcare and education for vulnerable children. Thanks to strong campaigning by S&D MEPs Brando Benifei and Agnes Jongerius, socialists manage to ensure money was earmarked in the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) specifically for the European Child Guarantee.

The socialist family presented the Child Guarantee in 2014 and it was included in the PES manifesto for the 2019 European elections. Since then, the policy has been progressed in the European Commission by Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit and championed in the European Parliament by the S&D Group.

The PES SEN also received a briefing from Ioannis Dalmas from Pasok and trade unionist Yiannis Poupkos on the Greek government’s attempt to pass a new labour law that threatens the rights of workers. The SEN condemned this attack by the Greek conservatives and stressed the need for modernisation that increases the protection of workers and employees. The meeting expressed its solidarity with Greek workers.

Member of the PES SEN also finalised their policy proposals to better frame telework and exchanged on decent pensions, and the social and economic integration of migrants.