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Launch of the European Family Conference - WECF speaks on support of Child Norm

“Social inclusion of families and EU Policies: Where do we stand?”

14.10.2010 |




The Confederation of Family Organisations in the EU (COFACE)  organised a European Family Conference, in cooperation with Belgium’s Secretary of State for Family Affairs. The two-day event was held at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels and organised in the spirit of the European Year 2010 for combating poverty and social exclusion.

WECF was invited to speak at the conference on Project Nesting during the session on Public Health on Friday Morning October 15. The proposed Child Norm by the Flemish League of Families (Gezinsbond) and the good practice example of WECF's Project Nesting to illustrate this, were new subjects on the European Public Health Agenda of the Conference.

TEXT SPEECH WECF PROJECT NESTING

“The EY2010 commitments are crucial to reinforce COFACE’s mandate, at a moment where we are convinced that supporting families is a most effective way to prevent poverty and social exclusion, especially of children and young people. The conference will look at the family dimension of EU policies and chart a roadmap towards a socially inclusive Europe”, declared COFACE President Yves Roland-Gosselin.

“Starting from a study backed by the European Commission in order to keep families in the loop when deciding on issues that pertain to family life such as social, fiscal, economic or even environmental policies, we have decided to support COFACE in the organisation of this conference,” declared Minister Melchior Wathelet.

EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor addressed an audience of EU institutions, NGOs, and policy makers in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Paola of Belgium. “Addressing social inclusion of families lies at the core of the European Union’s campaign for tackling poverty and social exclusion”, said Commissioner Andor. “This conference brings together all important stakeholders at EU level to promote an equitable European family policy”.

The main objectives of the conference were to discuss and convey four main messages to the European sphere:

  1. Public policies should provide families living in the EU with the services and entitlements necessary to a harmonious family life.
  2. There should be sufficient, appropriate, quality care provision and services, close-to-home and home help services for people in need of care in order to preserve the wellbeing and quality of life of all dependent persons and their families.
  3. Household consumer protection should be envisaged from a perspective of the family cell being a ‘consumer unit’, with specific needs, such as families confronted with over-indebtedness; ill nutrition; indecent housing conditions etc.
  4. Information and communication technologies should act as ‘enablers’ of increased social inclusion for families. Moreover, the support of responsible parenting is key to the full realisation of the child’s development and education.

The importance of an EU focus on the family and the EU’s role in combating family poverty and social exclusion were addressed at the conference through video testimonies, introductions by family policy specialists and interactive workshops.

More information can be found on the COFACE website

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