On March 11th , the EU Alliance for Investing in Children released a statement welcoming the recently launched Action Plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). The statement was signed by 25 partner organisations of the EU Alliance for Investing in Children, including Eurodiaconia. Particularly, we welcome the setting of the EU poverty target and its sub-target aiming to lift at least 5 million children out of poverty in the EU by 2030. We agree that reducing child poverty is a prerequisite to granting children equal access to opportunities and will contribute to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and social exclusion.

We believe that the EU target is crucial as it sends a clear message that child poverty reduction and the rights of children growing up in poverty and social exclusion should be at the heart of Member States’ activities towards fulfilling the EPSR. However, it is only a starting point. The EU Member States have committed to implementing the UN 2030 Agenda and its targets, of which the first goal is to eradicate extreme poverty and halving child poverty in all its dimensions by 2030. To achieve this, the EU should aim to lift at least 9 million children out of poverty by 2030. Thus, we call on EU Member States to set more ambitious national targets that exceed the EU target, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic consequences will most likely affect families with children and increase their risk of poverty and social exclusion in the next years.

Additionally, the Alliance welcomes the inclusion of a new headline indicator in the Social Scoreboard for at-risk-of-poverty rate or exclusion for children. However, we call on the EU to set disaggregated indicators that include those children and their families in vulnerable situations, focusing on groups such as children living in precarious family situations, children growing up in income-poor and single-parent households, children living in segregated areas, or homeless children. This will help to give a more thorough assessment in the European Semester and guidance on the investment priorities in national but also regional contexts.

To read the full EU Alliance for Investing in Children statement, you can visit their website. This statement goes in the same vein and further complements Eurodiaconia’s initial reaction to the EPSR Action Plan, which you can read here.