World Youth Alliance Europe participated in the launching of the network ‘European friends of family’ on 20th April 2015 at the European Parliament. This network is led by Mr. Arne Gericke, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Family Party in Germany (who was hosting this first event), Madame Ildiko Gall-Pelcz, a Vice-President of the European Parliament, as well as members of other European institutions. The main aim of the conference was to foster European inter-institutional cooperation for better family policy. The conference is the first step towards that goal.
European Friends of Family (EFoF) is going to be a network at the European level with the active collaboration Members of the European Parliament from different political parties, members of the Economic and Social Council and the Committee of the Regions, as well as Civil Society representatives working on family policy (such as the World Youth Alliance) and civil servants from the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. This network wants to take initiatives for a more family-friendly European policy by taking into consideration the crucial issues regarding family. Although the European Union has no legal competency on family policy, it addresses many subjects that significantly affect family life, such as employment, work-family balance, flexibility, employment security, etc.
The EFoF network will organise hearings, conferences and debates on a regular basis where all the members will be able to share new ideas and good practices to feed the European debate on Family Policy related issues. Among the most important goals of the initiative is to create a new European Family Strategy to better serve the interests of family.
One of the first ideas to be discussed by this network during the next months will be the “family vote,” which is an innovative way to take into account the opinion of children and teenagers in European democracies by giving them a right to vote with the assistance of their parents.
We hope that this new platform of inter-institutional debate will be very successful in its work to promote more family-friendly European policies, which is an urgent need not only for Europe but, most importantly, for families.
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