FAFCE in a nutshell
Founded in 1997, the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe is an umbrella organisation that serves as a European liaison platform for its members to exchange their experience on family support and discuss family policy issues.
FAFCE has 19 Member organisations from 14 countries and 8 associated members.
FAFCE ensures a political representation of families both towards the European Union and the Council of Europe. FAFCE’s in its work on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, promoting the beauty of the family, its wealth and the dignity of each of its members. The Federation holds a participatory status with the Council of Europe and is a member of the Fundamental Rights Platform of the European Union. The General secretariat is based in Brussels.
After the fall of the Berlin wall, Catholic family associations from several European Countries gathered to create a European platform. Austrian, Italian, French and German Family Associations signed a common Charter in 1991 and later signed in 1994 statutes for the coordination of European Catholic family organsations, which by 1997 had become the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), registered in Strasbourg, France.
The Council of Europe recognised FAFCE as a Non-Governmental Organisation with a participative status in 2001 and FAFCE was granted one year later the authorisation to submit collective complaints within the framework of the European Social Charter.
In 2009 FAFCE opened its office in Brussels. Over the years the number of member organisations has grown and FAFCE today represents organisations from all parts of Europe.
The family is the centre and the starting point of any community.
The family is the basic cell of society. As a community, it is the most important social entity where the gift of life is welcomed and accompanied until its end. For us, the family, based on matrimony of husband and wife, constitutes the best precondition for the personal development of parents and children.
Families need to get a fair financial recognition for their service and contribution to society.
Because of the invisible nature of the unpaid work of families, it is difficult to measure their contribution to society.
Families are however a crucial engine for economic growth and guarantee a sustainable and lasting future for the community itself. Strong families are the prerequisite for a healthy and prosperous society.
Family-friendly policies will shape the future of Europe.
In a context of demographic winter, governments need to make sure that there are no obstacles for couples to fulfil their wish to start a family. Family-friendly policies must also assure parents with an effective work-life balance through the right to paid leaves, to flexible working arrangements and the access to childcare facilities.
Parents invest a lot to offer their children the best chances for their development. They are entitled to an appropriate compensation of the costs involved and an adequate recognition of their efforts. All social domains are necessary to guarantee a well-balanced combination of financial means, time and services for all families (childcare facilities, assistance for the elderly…).
Parents themselves have the right to choose between gainful employment and family work. The renunciation of gainful employment for the benefit of family work must be compensated by equivalent transfer payments. Moreover, general conditions of the working environment must be adapted to be compatible with family life.
Parents and children live within an inter-generational community of reciprocal responsibility. It is indispensable to enhance the practised solidarity of generations with the solidarity of society as a whole in the form of adequate social security systems.