The pan-European Network for the Rights of the Child Eurochild released a formal video address in the context of the ongoing meeting of EU leaders, which began in Brussels, Belgium on July, 17th at the Special European Council and discussed the EU’s COVID -19 crisis recovery plan, as well as the new long-term EU budget 2021-2027.
Child poverty is projected to increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations working with and for children across Europe are calling on EU leaders to ensure an EU Recovery Plan and a new long-term EU budget to help tackle child poverty. The National Network for Children, as a member of the pan-European Network for the Rights of the Child, Eurochild, calls on European leaders to agree that at least 5% of the European Social Fund plus in the long-term budget should go to reducing child poverty in all EU Member States.
In the EU, more than 1 in four children are at risk of poverty and children are more likely to be at risk of poverty than the general population. (Eurostat, 2018)
Children already disadvantaged before the crisis by poverty, migration status or difficult home environments have suffered most during the lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover child poverty is likely to worsen owing to the economic fallout of the crisis. Reports suggest that household poverty is expected to increase by 15% worldwide by the end of 2020. (UNICEF and Save the Children, May 2020).
Eurochild members, which total almost 200 organisations and individuals across 35 countries, are echoing the call to make child poverty history across all EU national capitals ahead of the meeting of EU leaders.
The European Social Fund Plus is an EU financial instrument dedicated to improving social cohesion and economic well-being for the period 2021-2027. It works by investing in people for instance, by improving job prospects, education, reducing inequalities and more. If the European Commission’s proposal is accepted by the Council, this would be the first time tackling child poverty would be an overt objective in a long-term EU budget. This would allow countries to tackle growing child poverty and address inequalities much earlier in the life-cycle, thereby breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
In a video address, Eurochild President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said:
“It is now that we must determine our future, by investing in children to end the cycle of disadvantage. Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders. Our experience in childhood shapes who we grow up to be. That is why Eurochild is turning to you, as European Leaders… you are our hope for a better tomorrow. We do not have time to waste. You, as European Leaders must put children’s wellbeing at the forefront of your agenda as you discuss Europe’s recovery plan during the upcoming summit in Brussels.”
Eurochild is a pan-European network that advocates for children’s rights and well-being to be at the heart of policymaking. A public statement has been launched on 13 July to demand EU leaders to act against child poverty. H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Eurochild and Former President of Malta has made a video address to the leaders supporting the demands of the network. Read the statement and access the video address on the:https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=SBZFkGIFFik&feature=youtu.be