National Network for Children (NNC) sent to Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, reasoned proposal to include the topic of investment in children as part of the priorities during the Bulgarian presidency of the European Union.
In the beginning of 2018 Bulgaria will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU and this is an essential stage in Bulgaria’s development as a full EU member and the priorities that our country will choose, will be an indicator which sectors and policies will be in the focus of our future efforts.
With this proposal NNC takes the view that one of the political priorities for which Bulgarian presidency should advocate is investing in children, because we believe that it is no less important than investing in specific economic sectors or in execution of important geopolitical goals. This view is supported by several studies that prove that investments in children, especially in early childhood development are with much higher social return on investment than most of the other areas.
Children are among the most affected by poverty and social exclusion and are more vulnerable to their effects. In 2015, more than one in four children in Europe (27.7%) is at risk of poverty or social exclusion while in Bulgaria the figure is almost twice as high – 45.2%, which means that our country ranks among the leaders in this alarming ranking. In 2014, seven countries, including Bulgaria, through country-specific recommendations were urged to increase their efforts to reduce child poverty, which is an argument for the importance of the topic not only for Bulgaria but also for other member states.
That’s why the NNC turns to appeal to Meglena Kuneva, as head of the National Headquarters and National Centre for the preparation and conduct of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU in 2018, to prioritize the topic of investing in children.
Reflecting the fundamental principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, under which all member states of the EU were signed, NNC believe that building inclusive, stable, democratic and prosperous societies starts with defending the rights of children and investing in their future.