EU calls for renewed effort on tackling child poverty

Tackling child poverty must continue to be a key part of the social dimension of the 'EU 2020' strategy, according to a statement adopted by the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 4 October 2012.

Key points

  • Steps should be taken to avoid losing the political momentum on child poverty in the wake of the global economic and fiscal crisis – which had resulted in a rise in relative and absolute forms of child poverty and social exclusion in Europe.
  • Member states should consider treating child poverty/social exclusion/well-being as one of the key issues of the social dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy and of the reinvigorated social 'open method of co-ordination' (OMC).
  • There needs to be a coordinated and integrated approach to addressing child poverty in a holistic manner – using adequate investment, involving stakeholders, and mainstreaming child poverty and child well-being across relevant policy areas.
  • Full use should be made of existing tools to improve monitoring and reporting on child poverty, as well as the evaluation of policies.
  • The Commission should adopt a recommendation on child poverty as soon as possible, and develop 'synergies' between social inclusion and other policy areas.

The Council statement was welcomed by a consortium of organisations campaigning on behalf of children. It specifically welcomed the call to focus on children’s well-being alongside child poverty. It added that the forthcoming European Commission recommendation was a 'unique opportunity' for EU member states to embrace a comprehensive approach to child poverty and child well-being, and to endorse practical mechanisms through which its implementation can be monitored across the EU.

SourcesPreventing and Tackling Child Poverty and Social Exclusion and Promoting Children's Well-Being, European Union | Press release 8 October 2012, Eurochild
LinksStatement | European Union press release | Eurochild press release