European Child Guarantee: PES commends Portugal for extending support for vulnerable children

European Child Guarantee: PES commends Portugal for extending support for vulnerable children

The extension is a major step forward for the realisation of the European Child Guarantee in Portugal. The change means 35,000 children in the country now benefit from the policy.

Portugal is taking the lead in implementing a major change in this policy area since the European Child Guarantee recommendation was adopted by the Council of the EU earlier this year. The policy – pushed by progressive European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit – was conceived by Europe’s socialist family and presented in 2014. Following years of hard campaigning by the PES, the European Child Guarantee became a reality in June 2021.

Portugal’s announcement echoes the focus placed on quality education and childcare by socialist governments and local authorities all over Europe.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“I commend Minister Ana Mendes Godinho and the whole Portuguese government for this policy announcement. Portugal is taking the lead in making real progress on the European Child Guarantee since its adoption. Once again, it is socialists who are leading the fight against child poverty.

“Every child should have a good start in life. That is why our political family pushed so hard for the European Child Guarantee. It has been a long journey since 2014 when we put forward the policy, but I am thrilled that our efforts are now delivering a better life for children. Where Portugal leads I hope other Member States will follow.”

The European Child Guarantee provides EU Member States with guidance and access to European funds to improve the lives of the one in five children in Europe who are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. It aims to guarantee that children in need can access early childhood education and care, education, healthcare, nutrition and housing.  The Guarantee is a concrete deliverable of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan – another key progressive policy – and a key part of wider EU efforts to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion across Europe.

Portugal’s socialist government has a strong record on childcare. It introduced free childcare for the most vulnerable children last year and is now building on that legacy to cover more children in need.