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EESC opinion: The family and demographic change

EESC opinion: The family and demographic change

Key points

In the face of Europe's present demographic situation, the European Economic and Social Committee advocates:

  • detailed study of demographic developments and their causes,
  • the setting up of a European register on best practice in family policy, family-work balancing, gender equality and policies focusing on mothers and fathers who assume their full share of family responsibilities,
  • the presentation of a pluriannual action plan proposing measures which have proved their practical worth in the Member States as a basis for family oriented and family-work balance policies,
  • and use of the open method of coordination as a means of benchmarking family policies.

The European Council, the European Parliament and the Commission should also – with due regard to the subsidiarity principle – adopt strong measures to encourage the Member States to sign a European Pact for the Family, which could include the following commitments:

  • an affirmation of Member States' desire to pursue policies that meet people's expectations regarding how many children they would like to have per couple in the EU,
  • a plan to establish a fixed threshold for public funding for family- and child-related policies,
  • a guarantee to promote an environment which is favourable to families, putting into practice the reconciliation of family life and work, and ongoing and sustainable measures to support children and families.