25 May 2021,
On Thursday, 20 May 2021, the European Parliament adopted a report on “Reversing demographic trends in EU regions using cohesion policy instruments” (Rapporteur: Daniel Buda, EPP, Romania).
The report marks an positive step towards a more family-friendly European Union. Among its considerations, the report enumerates several important pro-family policies, stating that
“the importance of work-life balance is not properly recognised; whereas parents, children and families must be guaranteed support, including accessible childcare infrastructure, flexible work arrangements, help for single-parent families and parents with children with disabilities, and adequate financial support during maternity, paternity and parental leave; whereas such support can help to reverse negative demographic trends”.
The adopted text furthermore “highlights also the importance of family friendly legislation that facilitates a satisfactory work-life balance” and “believes, moreover, that investments under the ESF+ should promote the employability of women and single parents struggling to find employment, should ensure funding for affordable childcare facilities and support young families”. The report also recalls “the needs of children in the care of a family member or living alone while parents are working abroad”. Thus, the Resolution stands out for its attentiveness to many of the factors that cause couples to delay childbirth or abandon it altogether, from both an economic and social perspective.
FAFCE welcomes this report, and hope it will be a step further for the EU to acknowledge its demographic winter, invest in the family, and protect the best interests of families across the continent.
For further information:
- the EU Commission’s Green Paper on Ageing and its upcoming Long-term vision for rural areas
- The other report at the EP on demographic challenges: “The old continent growing older – possibilities and challenges related to ageing policy post 2020″ (Rapporteur: Beata Szydło, ECR, Poland)