Follow us

Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
12 Oct, 2023

Towards a comprehensive and inclusive social protection of families in Europe

Blue piece of COFACE star

On 27th September 2023, COFACE intervened at a conference organised by the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union on the topic of social protection of families.

The Spanish Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda and Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations brought together a wide range of Spanish, European and international speakers to look at existing data on family models and explored different policy solutions, together with the different delegations of the EU Social Protection Committee and the participation of civil society organisations.

The conference was an opportunity for transnational exchange on social protection for families and also served to define some lines of action for the future, both within the framework of the European Union and national policies, in order to support progress towards a comprehensive social protection for all families.

OECD figures point to different emerging trends. In past decades, fertility rates have trended downwards in most OECD countries; policy and labour market factors can help sustain birth rates, but a return to “replacement rate” level in OECD countries is unlikely. Over the past 2 years, public spending on family benefits as % GDP has been flat, but public spending per child has increased. Many countries have developed ECEC systems, but coverage gaps continue to exist for younger children (0-2) in many countries. In recent years, many OECD countries have moved to provide publicly paid father’s leave for about 10 weeks on average.

Spain has carried out an in-depth review of its family policy, by using key European funds to support this process, and by commissioning research on evolving family models in Spain to feed their discussions on social protection and family diversity. As indicated in the concept note of the conference, family life and family models have changed substantially in recent decades due to the recent great economic, social, and cultural transformations. Currently, there is a wide variety of family models and relationships: married and unmarried couples, of different or of the same sex, with or without children, single-parent stepfamilies, or blended families.

Families whose composition is less traditional are especially vulnerable and can be affected much more by social and economic hardships. There is clearly a shift in Europe towards building social protection systems that are accessible to all types of families, designed with family diversity in mind, and based on proportionate universalism. COFACE will give this a further boost with a European expert meeting on family diversity in Madrid on 17th October: “Leaving nobody behind: Making social rights available to all families”.

The conference brought different dimensions of the European Pillar of Social Rights around the topic of social protection for all families via the presentations of the European Commission and the Spanish presidency, with a focus on initiatives like the 2019 EU work-life balance directive, the 2021 European Child Guarantee, the 2022 European Care Strategy and EU minimum wages directive – all of which are triggering change in the right direction. Monitoring and evaluation of these frameworks is crucial, as well as providing support to the social policy innovators and leaders in national administrations helping to implement the reforms driven by these European processes.

Related Posts

Media ReleasesNews
State Of The European Union for Families: COFACE’s assessment of the EU’s work over the last 5 Years

State Of The European Union for Families: COFACE’s assessment of the EU’s work over the last 5 Years

On this 2024 International Day of Families and ahead of the European elections in June, COFACE is pleased to publish its assessment of the European Union’s work from 2019 to 2024 as well as its key demands to the EU for the 2024-2029 mandate. Both will be presented to friends of COFACE in Brussels during a Meet&Connect event in the presence of the Belgian Presidency of the EU, the occasion also to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the International Year of Families.

Read More

#AllFamiliesSpeakOutPosition papersPublications
State Of The European Union for Families: COFACE assessment of the European Union’s work from 2019-2024

State Of The European Union for Families: COFACE assessment of the European Union’s work from 2019-2024

In 2019, COFACE Families Europe mobilised voters locally through its member organisations (representing families of all types, without discrimination). These recommendations are addressed at EU-level policymakers in the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the EU, from whom we expect joint leadership to ensure tangible results for Europe’s citizens.  It is on this basis that we have assessed the European Union's work from 2019 to 2024, and how it contributes to achieving eight positive outcomes for families of today.

Read More

#AllFamiliesSpeakOutNews
ACT NOW FOR FAMILIES OF TODAY

ACT NOW FOR FAMILIES OF TODAY

COFACE has the ambition to shape together a strong social Europe fit for families and foster a European society that is more inclusive, offers equal opportunities and brings everyone forward.
In preparation of the next European elections on 6-9th June 2024, here are ten specific actions we would like to see integrated in the programme of the European Union.

Read More