FEANTSA welcomes the adoption of the European Child Guarantee
Today, on 14 June Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs adopted the Council Recommendation on a European Child Guarantee.
FEANTSA is particularly pleased that homeless children and children experiencing severe housing deprivation are a target group of the initiative.
The Council Recommendation, which calls on all EU Member States to ensure children from vulnerable backgrounds have access to essential services, has been adopted by unanimity with the support of all the 27 Member States. With its adoption, the commitment to tackle child poverty and break the cycle of disadvantage has reached it highest possible political level in the EU.
Alongside healthcare, education, nutrition and early childhood, one of the key service areas that Member States need to guarantee for children in need is decent housing. This ensures that addressing homelessness and housing exclusion is seen as part of an integrated approach to address child poverty. It is also possible to use the Child Guarantee within the countries to reach homeless children and families in particular.
The Recommendation is based on the European Parliament’s proposal followed by years of work with civil society organisations in the EU Alliance for Investing in Children that FEANTSA is part of. The European Commission funded a feasibility study on the Child Guarantee that FEANTSA was also involved in.
Member States now have until March 2022 to submit ambitious Child Guarantee National Action Plans and to nominate a national Child Guarantee Coordinator. Furthermore, there are clear links to the use of the EU funds. All countries must use an adequate amount of the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) resources in the new funding period to implement the Child Guarantee, and 11 Member States need to invest at least 5% of their ESF+ budget. The operational programming for the next seven-year financial framework is therefore crucial and can be done in parallel with the Action Plans.