Ending child poverty: necessary resources allocated to fund the Child Guarantee

 

29 January 2021

 

After long hours of negotiations, today the Portuguese Presidency of the Council and members of the European Parliament reached a political agreement on the draft regulation establishing the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) which is part of the 2021-2027 EU budget. The legislative text includes a financial envelope of nearly EUR 88 billion, whose 5% must be allocated to implement the Child Guarantee. The ESF+ will support investment in job creation, education and training, as well as social inclusion, access to healthcare, and measures for eradicating poverty in the EU.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has particularly affected children and young people – despite having been spared by the most severe health consequences of the virus – leaving thousands of young people unemployed, this new deal marks a gigantic victory for children and young people. There are specific measures aimed at providing the necessary financial resources to implement the upcoming youth and child guarantee, fighting poverty, supporting education and creating jobs for youth. Let’s make sure we break the cycle of poverty that affects 1 in 5 children in Europe and ensure every child has the right to thrive and reach their full potential.”- said MEP Caterina Chinnici, Co-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights.  

The negotiating parties of the three EU institutions agreed on the requirements regarding the allocation of ESF+ resources at national level according to the fund’s policy objectives, such as social inclusion, addressing material deprivation, supporting young people not in employment, education or training, and alleviating child poverty.

“All signs point to a clear political will in the EU to focus more on children and now we have more of the tools we need: 5% of the ESF+, the NextGeneration pillar of the RRF, as well as the upcoming Child Guarantee.”  – said MEP Dragos Pislaru, Vice-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights.

Last 18 December 2020, the German presidency and the European Parliament’s negotiators reached a provisional agreement on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). With a financial envelope of €672.5 billion, the facility is the centrepiece of the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. The European Parliament’s text – adopted on 9 November 2o2o – prescribed that at least 7% of the resources at a national level shall be allocated to the next generation, namely children and youth, following the proposal of MEP Dragos Pislaru, Vice-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights and Renew Europe spokesperson on the RRF.

 “I strongly believe that these efforts must be coordinated in order to avoid overlaps or silo policies. We expect the National Recovery and Resilience Plans to announce large scale investment in children from the RRF, focusing on housing, nutrition, health and education with the aim of addressing the growing social exclusion of children and young people, while having a positive impact on them and families alike.”

“We need to make sure that the Child Guarantee complements these investments with targeted financing of skilled care-workers, educators and experts, with building and sharing solutions for community-based care, coordinates investment from ESF+ and RRF, involves civil society and establishes a strong monitoring system on children’s social inclusion that will be linked to the European Semester.” – concluded MEP Dragos Pislaru, Vice-Chair of the Intergroup on Children’s Rights.

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