Brussels, 15th March 2024

FAFCE welcomes the European Parliament debate held yesterday on living conditions in the EU. In the context of an exacerbating cost of living crisis, young families are often experiencing economic hardship, which undoubtedly impacts their decisions on how large of a family they wish to have.

Coupled with the crisis of the demographic winter in Europe, more than ever member states must invest in the family. With alarmingly low birth rates and unjust social conditions, families should be seen as an investment for Europe; not as a cost. 

FAFCE echoes the serious concerns that many families can’t “make ends meet”, as well as the horror of increasing child poverty. Therefore, FAFCE proposes and invites the EU and its Member States to cooperate with family associations, as the core of society to tackle problems that impact housing, poverty, unemployment, social cohesion, mental health, loneliness, single-parent families, young families and broken families. Family networks can be a key partner of states in preventing and dealing with these challenges. 

Relating to a matter regarding workers rights’, FAFCE President Vincenzo Bassi said this week that: “workers cannot be viewed solely as a group of individuals, but as part of families and communities contributing to the common good. They are also often parents, husbands, wives, and sons and daughters – when we consider the rights of workers we should also consider their family responsibilities so as to prevent any discrimination.”

He added, “in the context of a demographic winter and a culture of isolation, the family is the key to intergenerational solidarity. Precarity and insecurity exacerbates loneliness.”

FAFCE reiterates its social policy demands to improve living conditions, which include:

  • family-based taxation systems in order to prevent the unequal treatment of parents and carers
  • adequate and fully paid access to maternity, paternity and parental leaves for parents, regardless of effective time worked
  • full freedom to parents to decide on the division of the leave between the father and the mother
  • legally recognise the right to disconnect and a work-free Sunday, as fundamental freedom of each person
  • implement national action plans of the Child Guarantee
  • end discrimination of women in the workplace