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Parliament calls for annual European Children's Capital


14 Mar 2024



The European Parliament is urging the European Commission and the Council to designate a European Children's Capital every year. 

Modelled on the European Capital of Culture, the European Children's Capital should focus on children, their rights and democratic opportunities for participation. In designating the annual European Capital of Children, cities would have to demonstrate clear evidence of effective and innovative child policies, like on equal opportunities, healthy growth and access to quality education and clean environment. 

The Socialists and Democrats believe that civil society organisations and local authorities, with their extensive experience and insight on children’s rights and welfare, should be directly involved in the annual selection of the children’s capital. MEPs voted on a resolution in Strasbourg on Thursday.

Gaby Bischoff, S&D vice-president, said:

“European Capitals of Children would send an important message that children’s rights are a priority in the EU, but they also have the potential to bring many more benefits for Europe’s children. European Youth Capitals were launched 15 years ago, giving thousands of young people the space to share ideas and initiatives to improve their communities for the better. With European Capitals of Children, we can complement and replicate the positive actions of youth capitals across Europe. 

“Children are the future of Europe and it is important they grow up with a better understanding of different cultures from an early age. Beyond a positive cultural influence, European Capitals of Children are also about championing children’s rights and promoting social inclusion and equal opportunities for children. This initiative is about cooperating on best policy practices and sharing experiences on the roll-out of the European Child Guarantee to create the conditions for children, especially for those with fewer opportunities, to have the best possible start in life. 

“Local authorities and civil society organisations know best how to support vulnerable children and they need to be at the heart of the annual designation of the European Capital of Children.”


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