"Every child in poverty is one child too many." Our MEPs are fighting child poverty
The European Parliament, meeting in plenary session last week, called on EU Member States, in a resolution voted by a large majority, to rapidly adopt and implement the European Child Guarantee.
The aim of the Guarantee, proposed by the European Commission last March in the form of a Council Recommendation, is to combat poverty and social exclusion by ensuring that children in need have free and effective access to essential services such as early childhood education and care, school and educational activities, health care and the opportunity to eat at least one healthy meal every school day. It also aims to ensure that all children in need have effective access to healthy food and adequate housing.
Our French MEP Sylvie Brunet (MoDem), who is a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, said: "The Council and Member States must be ambitious in fully and swiftly adopting the Commission's proposal and in implementing it. We also call on them to devote all possible national resources to the fight against poverty complemented by the various EU funds."
In addition, during her speech in the Chamber, Sylvie Brunet MEP stressed the need for a comprehensive framework addressing the structural root causes of poverty and a holistic approach to early childhood development. She also stressed that the fight against child poverty must focus on new and sustainable solutions to invest in the younger generation, bringing together public and private partners.
Our German MEP Engin Eroglu (FREIE WÄHLER) also called for the causes of child and youth poverty to be identified in order to combat them in the long term: "Every child affected by poverty is one child too many. Children and young people are and will remain our future. That is why I am committed to ensuring that our children and young people of today have the opportunities they need to become the engaged, mature, and responsible citizens of tomorrow", said Mr Eroglu.
Sylvie Brunet MEP concluded her speech by calling for real coordination at EU level to implement the European Child Guarantee. Engin Eroglu MEP called for the necessary framework conditions to be created so that children and young people can make the most of their opportunities. To this end, a European Child Authority, responsible for coordinating work at national level, could be the ideal framework for bringing together stakeholders, exchanging best practice and ensuring effective implementation of this instrument.
With this strong position expressed by the European Parliament, the ball is now in the court of the Member States who should soon decide on the European Child Guarantee.