9 a.m. Registration 

The event was moderated by Mr Ralph Sina, Director of the WDR/NDR Studio in Brussels

9.30 a.m. Inaugural session 

  • Mr Arno Metzler, President of the Diversity Europe Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
  • Ms Katarina Ivanković Knežević, Director at DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission 

10.00 a.m. Keynote speeches 

Why equal opportunities between men and women in the workforce are still so elusive? 

  • Ms Virginija Langbakk, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality

Sharing parenting and family life in the 21st Century: trends, progresses and challenges

  • Associate Professor Ms Livia Oláh, Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, project leader of the consortium research on Changing Families and Sustainable Societies: policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations (EU 7th Framework Programme FamiliesAndSocieties involving 25 research partners and three transnational civil society actor partners)
  • Q & A

11.15 a.m. Coffee break 

11.30 a.m. Have societal attitudes to parenting and family life kept up with reality ? 

  • Ms Annemie Drieskens, President of COFACE Families Europe
  • Mr Antoine Renard, Honorary President of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE)
  • Ms Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild
  • Mr Dominique Boren, Board Member and former President of the Network of European LGBTIQ Families Associations (NELFA)
  • Q & A

1.00 p.m. Lunch hosted by the President of the Diversity Europe Group (Atrium on the 6th floor) 

2.30 p.m. Break-out panel I: What challenges remain? The importance of civil and social dialogue (room JDE 63) 

  •  Ms Indré Vareikyté, EESC rapporteur for the Opinion 'Gender Equality Issues', Member of the Diversity Europe Group
  • Ms Esther Lynch, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Ms Rebekah Smith, Deputy Director of the Social Affairs Department at BusinessEurope
  • Ms Srita Heide, Special Representative on Diversity, SME Europe
  • Q & A

2.30 p.m. Break-out panel II: Implementing grassroots solutions (room JDE62) 

  • Mr Philippe Seidel, Policy Officer dealing with employment and work-life balance (AGE Platform Europe)  
  • Mr Pat Clarke, Vice-President of the European Disability Forum (EDF)
  • Mr Rémi Therme, responsible for the service 'Family – Parenthood' at the Departmental Union of Family Associations (UDAF) of the Saône-et-Loire region, France
  • Ms Edita Koliataitė, Director of the 'Nendrė' non-profit childcare centre for single parents, Lithuania
  • Q & A

4 p.m. Equal opportunities for all: the way forward at the national and European levels 

  • Ms Christiane Basset, Administrator at the French National Union of Family Associations (UNAF France), Member of the High Council for Family, Children and the Elderly (HCFEA) and Member of the Diversity Europe Group of the EESC
  • Ms Kinga Joó, Vice-President of the Hungarian National Association of Large Families (NOE), Member of the Board of the National Cooperation Fund (NEA) and Member of the Diversity Europe Group of the EESC
  • Ms Amaia Echevarría, Director of the Spanish National Union of Family Associations (UNAF Spain)
  • Q & A

5.30 p.m. Concluding remarks 

  • Mr Arno Metzler, President of the Diversity Europe Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Immediately after the conference cocktail and cultural evening (Atrium, on the 6th floor) 

  • Poem to "Lascia ch'io Pianga"

Choreographed by Anne Pajunen

Performed by Meri Pajunpää and Miguel do Vale


Programme - New Role Models for Societies in Europe
Programme - Nouveaux modèles pour les sociétés en Europe
List and biographies of speakers

Work organisation