A member of SAPI participated in the Eurochild Child Poverty Forum
A member of SAPI participated in the Eurochild Child Poverty Forum On June 23rd in Brussels Eurochild organized a Policy forum - Towards EU recomendations on Child Povrety and Well-being. Participants in the Forum were Dani Koleva from the NNC and Nelly Petrova from SAPI. Julien Van Geertsom, President Integraton sociale, Lutte contre la pouvrete, presented some arguments concerning the Belgian presidency of the EU and the inclusion of child poverty in the list of priorities. The lecturer presented some data according to which 1 out of every 5 children in the EU lives in poverty and 7 out of 10 of them live in poverty as adults, as well, which shows how hard he consequences of child poverty are. The Belgian presidency brings forward the efforts against child poverty not only because this is the year against poverty, and not only because the problem with child poverty in Belgium is notorious, but because this is a real problem for the EU. We have started to pose this problem at a regional level, to a federal and national level in the National Actions Plans, and now at a European level, as well. Especially important and effective for the overcoming of child poverty are the universal aids (such as the child benefits for instance), as well as the universal services - health, educational, social, etc., and mostly the free education, school food, and textbooks. Very important is the attention to the parents - employability, services, support. Then come the problems with the observance of the children's rights related to participation and hearing. The presidency counts on Eurochild and the NGOs to cooperate for the formulation of the main problems, the role of the public sector, and their eventual decisions based on the best interest of the child. They hope that the Hungarian presidency will continue with this president. Child poverty represents an evaluation of the children's rights. Marie-Anne Paraskevas, Policy Officer Social inclusion, DG Employment, Social Affaires and inclusion, presented the questions regarding child poverty in the context of the negotiations concerning the new EU strategy for the period 2010 - 2020, in which key terms will be Research, Employment, Education, Energy, Decrease of Poverty, etc. An ambitious aim of the strategy is that there will 20 million less poor people in 2020 in the Member Countries of the EU. The assessment will be made on the basis of the working indicators for poverty risks in the EU, for material deprivation, homelessness and unemployment. Often social exclusion and poverty are understood asone and the same thing. It is important to have a common understanding at national and European levels,that poverty is worse than social exclusion, and that subsidy is more than anything in the hands of the Member Countries, and that employability is the best in the fight against poverty. Child poverty has increased in the last years which poses some serious risks. The Commission is engaged with the definition of the problems, and with the development of programs related to new decisions, while it is the job of the Member Countries to find the special solutions. Еurochild and the members of the network insisted on the importance of common and reasonable decisions oriented towards results and indicators that are detailed enough so that they cannot be manipulated.