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S&Ds call on EU member states to intensify efforts to eradicate child poverty


20 Nov 2023


Global Europe

Today, we mark the International Day on the Rights of the Child and there is little reason to celebrate. One in four children in the EU live at risk of poverty or social exclusion and their socio-economic situation is worsening due to multiple crises. This grim reality is a stark reminder that the EU must collectively step up its efforts to shield children against poverty, urge the Socialists and Democrats.

As the European Parliament is set to debate two resolutions* on initiatives aimed at eradicating child poverty, the S&Ds call on EU member states to do more, in particular to bolster the European Child Guarantee and to ensure adequate investment in other policies designed to guarantee decent food, housing, education and healthcare to all children.

Brando Benifei, S&D negotiator on the European Parliament’s resolution on the European Child Guarantee, said:

“Children come first, but child poverty remains a serious problem across Europe. Today, on the International Day on the Rights of the Child, we reiterate our call for a dedicated budget of at least €20 billion for the European Child Guarantee. Taking stock of this iconic progressive initiative two years after its conception, we also call on all EU member states to ensure ambitious national plans to eradicate child poverty. Up to now, those plans have often been insufficient, inadequate and delayed, which is not acceptable.

“At the same time, we call on the European Commission and EU member states to do more to realise ambitious social policies, such as a strong anti-poverty strategy, minimum income schemes, minimum wage policies, and public housing strategies.

“All children have a right to a decent home and food, yet many families are forced to live in an overcrowded and cold home without the means to ensure proper meals for their children. We must ensure children’s rights to decent housing through public measures. We must guarantee at least one meal a day for children at school, as many depend on it, and that no child is denied a meal at school, for whichever reason. I am proud that the Parliament is taking such an ambitious stance on this issue.”   

Milan Brglez, S&D negotiator on the European Parliament’s resolution on reducing inequalities in times of crises for children and their families, added:

“As the multiple ongoing crises further increase inequalities in society, all EU member states must ensure sustainable, adequate and secured public investment in policies that protect children and their families against poverty.

"First, they must ensure enough money for the policies that guarantee universal, inclusive and affordable high-quality public services, such as childcare, education, care and healthcare. They must put in place the targeted measures for children and families in vulnerable situation, as well as the universal measures that mitigate and prevent the negative economic and social effects of crises.

“Furthermore, all investment in the policies for combatting child poverty should be exempted from national budgetary cuts. In practice, this means that EU member states have to respect ‘the golden social rule’ ensuring that no measure reducing child poverty will ever undergo any budget trimming.”

*Notes to editors:

This afternoon, the European Parliament will discuss the resolution entitled Children first – strengthening the Child Guarantee, two years on from its adoption, and the resolution entitled Reducing inequalities and promoting social inclusion in times of crisis for children and their families. The votes on both resolutions will take place on Tuesday.