Eurodiaconia was delighted to welcome our members to another Social Europe Academy event, “The Child Guarantee: How to Engage at the National Level”.  

The aim of the webinar was to update members regarding the status of Member States submitting their Child Guarantee National Action Plans and provide tools for members’ involvement at the national level. Although the initial deadline was March 15th, only six plans have been released. However, these National Plans remain urgent as 19 million children across the EU are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, exacerbated by the COVID and Ukraine crisis. It is thus crucial that Member States instrumentalize these plans to ensure the protection of Childrens’ rights and their access to a range of basic services.  

The webinar kicked off with our guest, Policy Officer, Mr Stefan Iszkowski, from the European Commission (DG EMPL) as he presented key insights on the background and next steps of the Child Guarantee National Action Plans, and how our members can become involved. Concretely, Mr Iszkowski noted that as most Member States are finalizing their drafts of the Action Plans, our members will become crucial stakeholders in the implementation (providing services) and monitoring components of these plans.  

Additionally, The National Action Plans were identified as a significant tool to ensure access to essential services for the Ukrainian children entering the EU. However, National Action Plans’ implementation remain within Member States’ competency. As a result, our members were advised to connect with their national coordinators as these key decisions will be resolved at the willingness of Member States.  

The final portion of the webinar opened the floor to reflections and experiences of members regarding their engagement with the National Action Plans. Several members reported a limited capacity to engage due to staff and time constraints, whilst some have participated through larger platforms. Using an interactive jamboboard members were able to identify target groups and initiatives they hope to see included in their respective plans.  

Finally, Eurodiaconia, in partnership with our members, will establish a Child Guarantee Monitoring Group to influence policies that will drive the fight against child poverty and social exclusion in the years to come.  

To access the European Commission’s website for the Child Guarantee and to National Action Plans, click here.