Last night, the S&Ds reached a political deal committing all member states to implementing and investing in the European Child Guarantee, during the negotiations with Council and Commission on the European Social Fund Plus. The European Child Guarantee is an initiative of the Socialists and Democrats to combat child poverty.
Brando Benifei, S&D MEP and negotiator for the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), said:
“One in five children in Europe lives in poverty. As the pandemic is unfolding and hitting our economies hard, more parents are losing their jobs, their businesses, their homes. Since 2014, we, the Socialists and Democrats, have been campaigning for a Child Guarantee to ensure all children have free quality healthcare, education and childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. It was urgent in 2015 and it is even more urgent today. Now the Child Guarantee is a reality.
"I am proud of having defended the fund for the most deprived against the cuts proposed by the Council. Now, food and material assistance for the people most in need will gain additional and dedicated resources, which should not be taken away from other social inclusion measures."
Agnes Jongerius, S&D MEP and spokesperson on employment and social affairs, added:
“We now expect the Commission to quickly follow up on their promises and put forward a legal instrument formally establishing the Child Guarantee. This should already happen in the first quarter of 2021, honouring the commitment in the Commission Work Programme.
"The new European Social Fund Plus, with its budget of almost €100 billion, will have a stronger focus on fighting social exclusion and eradicating poverty. Alongside Next Generation EU and REACT-EU, the ESF+ will not only become the cornerstone of social recovery for the European Union in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, but will also help to prepare for the challenges of the future such as the green and digital transitions.
Note to the editor:
The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is the EU's main financial instrument aimed at improving workers' mobility, employment, education and training opportunities, fostering social inclusion and fighting poverty across Europe for the 2021-2027 period.
The new ESF+ integrates the existing European Social Fund (ESF), the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD), the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI) and the EU Health Programme.