Families are the basic units of society, and a family has a value of its own. It is more than just the simple sum of its members. From an economic perspective the family is not only a consumer but also produces riches. In fact, families are Europe’s wealth!
As Europe is facing a deep and multiple crisis, with economic, demographic and foremost human costs, there is a huge pressure on each family. The family is the first place to which each one of us would turn for help and the solidarity within and between families, and across generations is an invaluable asset for our continent.
Austerity measures are necessary to contain and hopefully resolve the current crisis, every mother or father is aware of the need to make ends meet. However, the temptation to cut spending in the area of family policy and family friendly policies (taxation, balance between family life and work in the employment sector…) is a threat to every family.
Families need sufficient resources, therefore full employment is of utter importance. However, families also need balance between their family life and work. The experience and invisible work within the family are also an asset for employers, and should be rightly valued.
Families need time together, therefore flexible leave schedules for both mothers and fathers who care for their children or other family members in need are essential, just as common free time for each family, every week.
Families need sufficient and appropriate services, therefore family mainstreaming in both the public and private sector is necessary.
The FAFCE calls on the political decision makers in Europe to consider the priceless value that each family represents and to invest in the family through family policies and family friendly policies that consider the family as an ally of society!