Today, the S&Ds led a majority to support the introduction of a European Child Guarantee, worth €5.9 billion, to help eradicate poverty which hits one out of 4 children in Europe. The proposal is included into the European Social Fund Plus+ which was put to a vote in the European Parliament's employment and social affairs committee. The European Child Guarantee is an initiative of the Socialists and Democrats.
The European Social Fund+ (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+ will integrate the existing European Social Fund (ESF), the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), and the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD), the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI) and the EU Health Programme. The proposal will be voted in plenary shortly.
Brando Benifei, S&D MEP responsible for the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), said:
“One out of 4 children is at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Europe. Over 10 million children are unable to afford necessary goods and services, such as health care and nutrition, housing and education with alarming consequences. Children living in poverty face a higher risk of unemployment, malnutrition, illness, homelessness, early school dropouts and social exclusion. Poverty breads poverty. The poor children of today are in danger of becoming poor parents tomorrow and their children living in poverty as well. We must change this pattern!
“Investing in people and ensuring nobody is left behind is paramount to us Socialists and Democrats. We want to ensure that children, the youth and those most in need suffering from material deprivation are being taken care of and provided with equal opportunities to reach their potential. To this end, our Group has put forward a new instrument to tackle the multidimensional aspects of child poverty, the European Child Guarantee.
“Today we succeeded in introducing the European Child Guarantee into the main financial instrument to improve social cohesion and citizens’ well-being, the ESF+, with a dedicated budget of €5.9 billion. We also managed to increase the proposed budget for 2021-2027 period to the level of the existing funds and programmes, double the funds for the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and increase resources for social inclusion and the most deprived. We will continue to fight to make the Child Guarantee a reality, as we did in the past with the Youth Guarantee.”
Agnes Jongerius, S&D MEP and spokesperson on employment and social affairs, added:
“No child in poverty, that’s what we are fighting for.
“Although European economies are performing better and unemployment is slowly decreasing, many families cannot afford to provide their children with some basic necessities. Children of unemployed or working in precarious jobs parents are the most vulnerable.
“Our response to this vicious cycle of poverty, inequalities, unemployment and social exclusion is the Child Guarantee. Establishing already in the next Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2021-2027 is a very positive first step and a battle that we, Socialists and Democrats, have been fighting for years. Ending child poverty and increasing opportunities for all young Europeans is paramount to reducing inequalities.
“Member states need now to move forward to make the Child Guarantee at least as successful as the Youth Guarantee. The properly funded ESF+ is crucial to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”