Eurochild’s analysis of the National Reform Programmes from a child poverty and well-being perspective
1. Fighting child poverty is essential to achieving the overall Europe 2020 objectives. There should be more recognition in the NRPs that measures to tackle poverty and social exclusion – and child poverty in particular – will also contribute to achieving other Europe 2020 headline targets. Similarly, there needs to be more regular assessment of the impact that measures addressing other Europe 2020 objectives have on child poverty and social exclusion.
2. The Europe 2020 strategy needs to be backed up by specific national strategies on social inclusion that have a specific chapter on child poverty.
3. Targets on poverty reduction should be strengthened and supplemented by specific child poverty targets. National Reform Programmes should not only recognise child poverty as a challenge, but also commit to its reduction, and take into account the initiatives that are already in place.
4. A more comprehensive approach is needed to fully tackle child poverty, involving a wide range of policies that not only focus on increasing access of parents to the labour market but also on income support, access to essential and quality services, empowering children and increasing their participation in social, recreational and cultural activities.
5. More emphasis should be given to how EU structural funds can contribute to poverty reduction. Unfortunately most NRPs do not yet link the use of structural funds to tackling child poverty.
6. Member States should support meaningful stakeholder involvement both in the preparation and the implementation of the National Reform Programmes. The Commission and Member States should encourage more public and political debates at national level on the NRPs and their role in promoting greater social inclusion.