France recently introduced a new immigration bill, and in response, COFACE Member UNAF (Union of French family organisations) conveyed in a press release its opposition to certain measures within the legislation, emphasising the importance of a universal approach to family policy.
Our member, UNAF France, has the legal mission to defend the interests of all lawfully resident French and foreign families and strongly disagrees with provisions that restrict these families’ access to essential benefits. The adopted law specifically targets various benefits, such as family allowances, support allowances, childcare benefits, back-to-school allowances, and daily parental attendance allowance (DPA).
UNAF points out that many of the benefits affected by this law are intended to make it easier for parents to work, which makes the restrictions even more inconsistent with the stated aim of promoting employment.
UNAF has always defended the principle of the universality of family allowances and has always opposed targeting measures. On many occasions over the last ten years, as restrictions have been introduced, it has warned of the risks of breaking the social contract. In 2014, at the time of implementing means-testing for family allowances in France, UNAF stated: “The risk is that family allowances will be increasingly criticised (…) Some will want to exclude foreign families from them. These benefits, which are used to unite families, will end up pitting them against each other. Everyone will lose out”.
Moreover, against the backdrop of the housing crisis, excluding families from Individualised Housing Aid will only increase insecurity. Attached to the right to live as a family, UNAF is also opposed to the new restrictions on family reunification. UNAF hopes that the French Constitutional Council will vote against these measures. Beyond this bill, family policy must be restored to its universal vocation within the French social protection system.
Read the full Press Release here (FR).