Child Poverty & Putting Children First - Eurochild’s achievements in 2020
The COVID19 pandemic plunged more families and children into poverty. By mobilizing our members and convening dialogues with high-level decision-makers, Eurochild brought greater visibility to the plight of children across Europe. 42 members contributed to a report on the situation of children in 25 countries. Our efforts have borne fruit. In 2021, the EU will agree to ear-mark EU funding to tackle child poverty and it will adopt an EU Child Guarantee.
Ending child poverty in Europe
Despite Europe being one of the richest continents, more than one in four children in the EU were at risk of poverty before the pandemic. Ending child poverty has been a top priority for Eurochild since its establishment. We work together with members to inform decision-makers, policy makers and media and advocate for effective investments and reforms of economic and social policies.
COVID-19 puts more children at risk
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic socio-economic impact, worsening levels of child poverty throughout Europe. Eurochild members helped us to assess the situation of children in 25 European countries, which we published in a unique, in-depth report. Its recommendations informed our advocacy on the future EU budget and policy instruments.
We mobilised members to support the adoption of the Child Guarantee, whose aims of delivering free healthcare, childcare, education, decent housing and adequate nutrition, became more urgent after the onset of the pandemic.
We replaced our usual bi-annual conference with a high level, multilingual, online event series “Putting children at the heart of Europe’s recovery” in the week of Universal Children’s Day. Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez set the mood of this event series which included other high-level speakers such as Angel Gurría, Secretary General of OECD, Dubravka Šuica, Commission Vice-President on Democracy & Demography, and Ministers from Finland and Bulgaria. Each event also provided an opportunity to hear directly from children themselves. Children’s participation was supported by Eurochild’s Secretariat and our members who co-hosted the events.
- Based on input from 42 Eurochild members, we published “Growing up in lockdown: Europe’s children in the age of COVID-19” - a unique in-depth, country-by-country assessment of the situation of children in 25 European countries. The report’s findings were reflected in key statements by EU and UN representatives and helped our advocacy to prioritise efforts to tackle child poverty.
- We campaigned vociferously to demand a fair share of EU funds in the 7-year EU budget be allocated to tackle child poverty. A key success is that EU Member States with higher than average child poverty rates will be required to earmark 5 percent of funds from the European Social Funds Plus specifically to tackling child poverty.
- Our work contributed to build support for the EU Child Guarantee initiative. This historic achievement will drive national action to tackle child poverty, giving special attention to children in vulnerable situations. We look forward to its adoption before summer 2021.