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Europe’s civil society calls on the EU to maintain, strengthen and expand its pivotal role towards children’s deinstitutionalisation


20 Mar 2018


Social Europe & Jobs

(Brussels, 20 March 2018) Today, Europe’s civil society representing over 300 organisations that work with and for children meet key EU level stakeholders in Brussels to discuss how the EU can ensure better outcomes for children and their families through the post-2020 EU budget. Under the platform of the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign, they bring evidence from the ground on how EU funds have been used in the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The publication urges the EU to maintain, strengthen and expand its pivotal role towards children’s deinstitutionalisation and the transformation of child protection systems in Europe.

Hundreds of thousands of children are still growing up in institutional care in Europe. Even though institutions are often funded by public money – intended for the public good – they can have long-lasting damaging consequences not only for the children themselves but also for families and society as a whole.

The EU is at a critical juncture, as it prepares to decide on its priorities for investment post-2020. Despite its efforts in funding reforms in child protection in its current Multi-annual financial framework, we are far from providing children the best care solutions. The negotiations on EU budget and funding programmes beyond 2020 is a unique chance for the EU to end the era of institutional care – unnecessary, outdated and harmful type of care that segregates children from society. The next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) offers a real opportunity to build on lessons learnt and deliver on existing EU promises.

The undoubted EU added value of investing in the social inclusion of the most vulnerable people, catalysing child welfare and child protection reforms and triggering the transition from institutional towards more individualised community-based care (also known as deinstitutionalisation) has been widely acknowledged by Europe’s civil society (see the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children recent recommendations to the EU, Eurochild’s recommendations on investing in children through the post-2020 MFF and the European Expert Group’s position paper on the funding of the European Union post-2020).

To continue this progress, coherent with the EU’s human rights obligations, more has to be done. The EU must reinforce its support towards realisation of common values and objectives, such as respect for human rights, poverty reduction or social inclusion, when negotiating the post-2020 budget and funding programmes over the next 18 months.

To enhance a pan-European debate on the EU budget post-2020, the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign has released a publication which brings evidence from the ground on how EU funds have been used in the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). It provides ample examples of why positive elements such as the ex-ante conditionality and the European Code of Conduct on Partnership (ECCP) should be maintained in the future EU budget and expanded to other funding programmes. The report also raises some valid concerns about how regulations have been implemented in practice, making the case for strengthening existing regulations and providing recommendations for the next funding programmes beyond 2020.


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Eurochild coordinates the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign in partnership with five international organisations and civil society across 16 European countries. We help national organisations monitor the use of EU funds and promote investment in family support services, as well as high quality alternative care.



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