The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament and the Party of European Socialists jointly welcome today’s Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation to establish the Child Guarantee, under the leadership of Commissioner Nicolas Schmit. In 2014, the socialist family presented their initiative for a Child Guarantee to fight child poverty across Europe. Since then, they have spearheaded the campaign to ensure decent housing and adequate nutrition, as well as free quality education, childcare and healthcare for all children.
Iratxe García, S&D MEP and Group leader, said:
“Today, one in five children in Europe lives in poverty. One in five children goes to bed on an empty stomach, does not have a roof over their head, or their parents cannot afford to pay for kindergarten, school supplies or essential medicines. As the pandemic is hitting companies and jobs hard, more parents are struggling with putting food on the table and home schooling their kids.
“The first and crucial step for ending child poverty is the Child Guarantee that must soon be complemented with a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy and a Directive on fair minimum wages. From now on, the Child Guarantee will ensure decent housing and adequate nutrition, as well as free quality education, childcare and healthcare for all children in need. Within 6 months, EU governments will have to submit national action plans detailing how they will achieve these goals. After we already managed to get funding for the European Child Guarantee under the European Social Fund, this step will finally make the Child Guarantee a reality across Europe. We will be on member states’ heels to ensure they make good on all their commitments. We can now end child poverty across Europe, so let’s do it.”
Sergei Stanishev, PES President and S&D MEP, said:
“Child poverty constitutes not only countless individual tragedies, it also inflicts long-term damage to our society. Deprivation during childhood increases the likelihood of experiencing poverty later in life. With our initiative for a Child Guarantee, we aim to break this vicious circle. The Child Guarantee is a tool to protect children’s rights and fight growing inequalities that threaten to tear our societies apart. As part of the Social Action Plan presented by socialist Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, the Child Guarantee is a political milestone for building a more inclusive and resilient society for all. It will help to meet our target of 5 million fewer children at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2030.
“This proposal will achieve concrete results by channelling European and member state funding for children through national action plans. There can be no better investment than in our children.”