Persons with disabilities have the right to live independently, included in the community and to family life. To mark the 2023 UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the COFACE Disability Platform places the spotlight on family carers. Their crucial role can significantly boost the fulfillment of the rights outlined in the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, provided they receive adequate support. A COFACE Disability “Thematic Note” was developed to contribute to policy discussions and help find constructive solutions.
The annual report by the Social Protection Committee examines social conditions and social protection policies across the EU. This year’s report – issued on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – focuses on the energy and cost of living crisis.
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.
Join EU institution representatives, national policymakers, Ministers, business leaders, social partners, civil society, and academia as they delve into the dynamic realm of artificial intelligence and its impact on the world of work.
Alfred Trendl, President of the Catholic Family Association Austria (KFÖ), expressed both approval and concern regarding the government’s implementation of the EU directive aimed at strengthening work-life balance and partnership. While applauding the doubling of the family time bonus to 1,480 euros per month, Trendl voiced criticism of the government’s decision to cut two months of leave for families where only one parent takes parental leave. He argued that this infringes upon parental choice in childcare arrangements.
On the 6th of September 2023, following years of advocacy, a pilot project with eight EU countries, and extensive consultations with stakeholders, the European Commission put forward the long-awaited proposal for a European Disability Card and a European Parking Card that will facilitate persons with disabilities to access the right to free movement.
In November 2022, the Digital Services Act (DSA), which introduces new rules for online service providers, came into force. It significantly improves the mechanisms for the removal of illegal content and for the effective protection of users’ fundamental rights online, including the freedom of speech. It also creates a stronger public oversight of online platforms, in particular for platforms that reach more than 10% of the EU’s population.
As international stakeholders gather in Warsaw today for the International Annual Conference on Energy Poverty to address the multifaceted challenges of energy poverty, it is crucial for the EU and its governments to act swiftly for a families-sensitive approach to energy policy and planning. This includes integrated policy solutions that combine energy and social policies which are vital in preparation for the winter ahead. COFACE has developed a policy brief.
POLICY BRIEF. A families-sensitive approach in European and national measures to tackle energy poverty
The EU and its governments must act swiftly for a families-sensitive approach to energy policy and planning. This includes integrated policy solutions that combine energy and social policies - these are vital in addressing the multifaceted nature of energy poverty....
On the 27th of May, EU and national leaders gathered in Porto to discuss the role of social policies in shaping the European project. With this statement, the EU Alliance for Investing in Children aims to stress that eradicating child poverty is an indispensable...
The European Child Guarantee, established through a Council Recommendation on the 14th of June 2021, is a key step in achieving the European Pillar of Social Rights target to reduce the number of children at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Two years after the historical adoption of this Recommendation and the promise of all EU Member States to act to lift children and their families out of poverty, COFACE Families Europe assessed the plans submitted by April 2023 from the perspective of children with disabilities and their families who experience specific barriers when accessing key services and have a more significant risk of poverty and social exclusion.
To safeguard the right to work-life balance across Member States, in April 2023, the European Commission decided to continue infringement procedures against Belgium Czechia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Austria, and Slovenia by sending them a reasoned opinion for failing to notify national measures fully transposing EU rules establishing rights on work-life balance for parents and carers.
On 2 May 2023, the European Commission published a Staff Working Document: “Cohesion 2021-2027: forging an ever-stronger Union – Report on the outcome of 2021-2027 cohesion policy programming.” The report shows how the policy will provide investments worth a total of €545 billion, of which, €378 billion is funded by the EU.
Eurobarometer survey shows 55% of Europeans think their governments should spend more on family policies
The Eurobarometer is a collection of cross-country public opinion surveys conducted regularly on behalf of the EU Institutions since 1974. In a newly released Eurobarometer survey, it is revealed that most EU citizens overwhelmingly support strong action at EU and national level and more social spending.
Report of the High-Level Group on the future of social protection and of the welfare state in the EU
The main task of the High-Level Group was to analyse the expected impacts of megatrends such as demographic changes, resulting in a shrinking workforce and an ageing population, transformations on the labour market and the digital and green transitions, as well as the emergence of new risks on the social protection and on the welfare systems.
While single motherhood does not automatically mean vulnerability, statistics, and testimonies show that this status puts women at increased risk of poverty and social exclusion. On this International women’s rights day, COFACE Families Europe is calling on the EU and Member States to act now for the economic and social rights of single mothers.
It could be a good brain-teaser to ask what is the occupation of the tens of millions of people in Europe today, whose daily work time can span over 24 hours and is not only essential but also life-saving. We could not even say that this type of work is underpaid as it is, in many cases, not paid at all. And although it is not necessarily undervalued, it is clear that this essential work is taken for granted. For COFACE Families Europe, who represents the interests of families across Europe, the answer to this brainteaser is evident.
A year has passed since the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, which has affected and displaced millions of children. Despite the international community’s repeated calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, the plight of children and young people caught in this atrocious war remains with little end in sight.
EU Work-life Balance Directive transposition in action – A mixed picture: From non-compliance and basic minimum standards to ambitious reforms for modern gender-responsive family policies
The EU Work-life Balance Directive is the first legislative initiative that follows the launch of the European Pillar of Social Rights in 2017 and was formally adopted two years later in 2019. COFACE Families Europe expects high ambitions from the different EU institutions and national governments in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, as a stepping stone to develop a framework for a more social and fairer European Union.
All EU countries had until the 2nd of August 2022 to bring into force the laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply fully with the Work-life balance Directive. The Directive contains legal elements that acknowledge the diversity of families in the 21st century, for instance with the mention of “equivalent second parent” under the paternity leave article.
The European Commission’s 2022 European Semester Spring Package provides the Member States with support and guidance two years on from the first impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the midst of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In April, Financial Inclusion Europe is organising multiple national webinar events which will discuss the proposals on the Consumer Credit Directive. Key stakeholders from France, Italy, and Germany will exchange on the CCD proposal and its capacity to improve the national consumer credit market to make it safer, fairer, and inclusive.
EU Alliance for Investing in Children statement on the belated submission of the Child Guarantee national action plans
With this statement, the EU Alliance for Investing in Children aims to demand immediate attention to the delays in submitting the national action plans and offer key recommendations on the Child Guarantee and its upcoming implementation.
On the first anniversary of the EU’s Child Rights Strategy, COFACE alongside 13 organisations calls to put child rights at the heart of EU policies and apply the Strategy responding to the crisis in Ukraine to support all children and their families.
Violence against women and domestic violence are pervasive throughout the EU and are estimated to affect 1 in 3 women in the EU. On International Day of Women’s Rights, March 8th 2022, the European Commission presented EU-wide rules to combat violence against women and domestic violence.