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28 May, 2024

COFACE Member AGF celebrates 70 years of commitment to families

COFACE member, the Association of German Family Organisations (AGF), was founded on the 25th of March 1954. 70 years later, on the 25th of march, AGF members looked back on its history and discussed the current challenges in family policy. The constituent meeting of AGF took place in 1954 in Königswinter, Germany, and laid the foundations for coordinated and committed representation of family interests at a national level and international work. On their 70th anniversary, the family organisations issued the following statement:  “Over the past 70 years, the AGF has made an important contribution to the promotion and support of families in Germany. Our commitment to a fair and appreciative family policy with financial recognition of the achievements of families, the expansion of family-supporting infrastructure and intergenerational cohesion were, are and will remain central pillars of our work.” 

AGF emphasised that current challenges regarding family policy mean that “solutions must be found to substantially reduce child poverty and to ensure adequate and affordable housing. In addition, an appropriate range of high-quality education and childcare services must be ensured. People who take on caring responsibilities for relatives must find good support with regard to reconciling work and care as well as to financial challenges. Overall, the social contributions of all forms of family must be valued and families and children must be placed at the center of political efforts to ensure Germany’s future sustainability.” 

In the current legislative period, AGF is calling for the measures announced in the coalition agreement to be implemented. These include the introduction of an appropriate paternity leave, the introduction of a new family care leave and the adaptation of family law to social change.  Among the first topics addressed by the AGF were the financial compensation of monetary family disadvantages and combating the housing shortage, as well as the organization of a congress for the then “International Union of Family Organizations”.  International work has always been an important focus of the AGF’s work. The AGF cooperates with numerous family policy associations and organizations from other European countries, and above all with COFACE Families Europe. AGF is therefore a crucial bridge between the German and European family policy spheres.  The AGF was originally founded by three family associations, the German Family Association (DFV), the Family Federation of German Catholics (now the Family Federation of Catholics – FDK) and the Protestant Action Group for Family Issues (now the Protestant Family Working Group – EAF). Over time, it has taken up social developments, developed its working methods and membership and now consists of six member associations. In addition to the founding members, the following have joined: the Association of Single Mothers and Fathers (VAMV), the Association of Binational Families and Partnerships, IAF and the Forum for Progressive Family Policy (ZFF).

The family associations from their perspective each focus on the interests and rights of families. The AGF formulates the common concerns of its member associations and is an active partner in politics and society. It carries out political lobbying for the interests of families and promotes dialogue and cooperation between family policy organizations and those responsible for family policy at national and international level.  COFACE Families Europe congratulates AGF on its 70th anniversary and looks forward to many more years working closely together for the benefit of families in Germany and beyond.  

Find out more about AGF here.

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