European Child Guarantee: socialist Coordinators set sights on success

14/06/2022

Pictured: Agnes Jongerius MEP (R), Meeting Chair, Chair of the PES Social Europe Network and S&D coordinator in the EMPL committee, and Brando Benifei MEP, shadow rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus

Pictured: Agnes Jongerius MEP (R), Meeting Chair, Chair of the PES Social Europe Network and S&D coordinator in the EMPL committee, and Brando Benifei MEP, shadow rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus

Putting EU policy into practice for every child in need – this was the focus as Child Guarantee Coordinators and representatives from seven socialist governments met in Brussels, Belgium, today.

The meeting exchanged on best practices for the European Child Guarantee – a socialist policy agreed at the EU level to ensure every vulnerable child in Europe has a good start in life.

Agnes Jongerius MEP, meeting Chair and the Chair of the Social Europe Network of the Party of European Socialists (PES), said:

“Children in Europe are still growing up in poverty. That is why we fought hard for the European Child Guarantee. It is a strong tool, and it is important to make it a success through ambitious Action Plans.

“Member States are at different stages of implementation, so now is the moment to share best practices. It is very important that Action Plans are implemented quickly. Europe’s children are relying on us, and socialist administrations are determined to deliver.”

The European Child Guarantee was agreed at the EU level following years of campaigning by the PES, the S&D Group in the European Parliament, and national-level progressive parties and organisations. PES parties, in government or in opposition, continue to work for the swift adoption of ambitious Child Guarantee Action Plans.

Thanks to the commitment of Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, the S&D Group, and PES governments, the Child Guarantee was approved in June 2021 by the EU Council under the Portuguese Presidency and Minister for Labour, Solidarity and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho.

Under the Child Guarantee, children in need in EU Member States are provided with effective and free access to high-quality early childhood education and care, education and school-based activities, at least one healthy meal each school day and healthcare, as well as effective access to adequate housing and healthy nutrition.

More information on the PES position on the Child Guarantee can be found in the policy document The European Child Guarantee: For a fair start in life.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Agnes Jongerius MEP, Meeting Chair, Chair of the PES Social Europe Network, S&D coordinator in the EMPL committee, PvdA Netherlands
  • Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General
  • Brando Benifei MEP, shadow rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) (2021-2027), PD Italy
  • Alicia Homs MEP, member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, PSOE Spain
  • Santina Bertulessi, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
  • Ivan Krastev, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, National Child Guarantee Coordinator, Bulgaria
  • Johanna Laisaari, Secretary General of National Child Strategy, National Child Guarantee Coordinator, Finland
  • Anna Maria Serafini, Chairperson of the Working Group on Policies in Support of Children, National Child Guarantee Coordinator, Italy
  • Jonathan Silvio, Director, Policy Development and Programme Implementation, National Child Guarantee Coordinator, Malta
  • Sonia Almeida, National Child Guarantee Coordinator, Portugal
  • Audrey Poels, Advisor to Karine Lalieux, Minister of Pensions, Social Integration, Fighting Poverty and Disabled Persons, Belgium
  • David Rinaldi, Director of Studies & Policy, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)
  • Christian Morabito, Child policy expert, FEPS