Brussels, 10th June 2024

Today the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) has written an open letter to all elected MEPs after the 2024 European Parliament elections, signed by FAFCE President Vincenzo Bassi on behalf of its Member Organisations across the continent.

This follows the dissemination of a policy toolkit detailing the priorities for the new legislature, from the perspective of the family. The five areas highlighted were the demographic winter, family as an investment, work-family balance, protection of children, and integral ecology.

Open letter to all elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)

Dear Member, 

Congratulations on your election! European citizens have entrusted you with the honour of representing them during this five-year legislature. This is a great responsibility for the Future of Europe and for European families.

On this occasion, on behalf of all the Member Organisations of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), I would like to share with you some of our reflections and proposals for your mandate, that you will find in the toolbox that we have prepared to inspire your legislative activity.

1. Europe is engulfed by a demographic winter and it is a challenge to our next generations

Demographic challenges need to have at its core the principle of intergenerational solidarity, with a focus on the promotion of family networks as the antidote to loneliness: Families are the treasure of Europe. I would like to invite you to support, promote and ensure the renomination of a European Commissioner on Demography, entrusted with enough resources to achieve intergovernmental cooperation to solve demographic challenges. I would also like to propose to create and join a European Parliament Intergroup on “demography, work-family balance and next generations”, under Rule 35.

2. Families have a central role in the shaping of our societies and are an investment for the Future of Europe

Investing in families means investing in the future. Therefore, family policies should be considered investments in the States balance of accounts, not as costs. I would like to invite you to promote and take part in a high-level European reflection and within the European Parliament on the reform of the macroeconomic criteria for family policies.

3. Work-family balance should be key for equal treatment policies

Member States have competence on family policies and I believe that the principle of subsidiarity must always be respected for the best of the European Union. However, Europe can promote work-family balance by recognizing the right to disconnect and Sunday as a common day of rest in Europe. There are also four relevant Directives which can be reviewed to improve families´ work-life balance.

4. Our children are the future of Europe, and their protection must be a priority

Our children are our future. The new generations are facing increasing risks linked to the fast development of our times. Digitalisation is helping societies in many ways, but responsible use is needed to avoid destructive side-effects.

In this vein, we would like to propose to recognize the consumption of pornography as a public health issue, and to introduce it as a way of child sexual abuse in the Commission Proposal to Combat child sexual abuse Directive. Moreover, I invite you to support the European Child Shield Platform initiative, as its diverse members are doing a successful job in gathering data and proposing solutions to the physical and mental health consequences this issue has on our future generations.

Additionally, we invite you to support an international convention for the abolition of surrogacy, inspired by the Casablanca Declaration, as surrogacy is a form of human trafficking of children and exploitation of women.

Lastly, we would like to propose that you, as Member of the European Parliament, promote a truly inclusive institution, through the creation of a representative body within the European Parliament for people with disabilities and special needs.

5. The Creation is suffering, and families are key to the integral human ecology

There is no sustainability without families. As our last Spring Board meeting resolution recalls, “integral human ecology entails a holistic approach to the complexity of ecological problems, uniting the cultural, political, social and economic dimensions of this reality”. I invite you to have families at the centre of the solution to protect the Creation and to prevent catastrophic environmental degradation.

FAFCE would like to offer its experience in Europe and its ideas coming from the grassroots of our Member Associations all over the continent. FAFCE is keen to contribute to the solution of today’s challenges and to give voice to families. We will be happy to have a close cooperation during your mandate.

Our Brussels-based staff and myself remain at your disposal and wish you a fruitful mandate for families.

Best wishes,

Vincenzo Bassi, President of FAFCE