Take part in EUROCITIES survey: How are cities fighting child poverty?

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date
24-06-2020

The COVID-19 crisis has strongly affected children, especially children in precarious family situations, who were affected in terms of schooling, physical and mental health and well-being, and even nutrition (lacking the school lunches). Home-schooling has deepened the inequalities in education and training.

EUROCITIES has launched a new survey to collect timely updates about the situation of child poverty in cities in Europe. We want to identify the (new) challenges putting children at risk and how cities are responding with support measures to prevent and mitigate child poverty. We will look into good practices from cities to understand what works well and under which conditions, what could be improved and where are the gaps that need to be addressed with support from national and EU level. 

What is the survey about?

The survey looks into: 
  • Local situation of child poverty 
  • Strategic approach to fighting child poverty
  • City inputs to the EU Child Guarantee
  • Areas of intervention and specific support services 
  • Vulnerable groups of children and targeted support services
  • Good practice examples of city initiatives
  • City measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on children

Why should your city take part in this survey?

This is a unique opportunity for cities to:
  1. Contribute to shaping the EU Child Guarantee by feeding inputs and lessons learned so far from policy interventions at local level 
  2. Get recognition as key partners of the European Commission in developing and implementing the EU Child Guarantee to respond effectively to the urban challenges of child poverty
  3. Get access to EU funding support dedicated to EU Child Guarantee schemes under the ESF+ 2021-2027 to improve local services and support to children and families in vulnerable situations.

How will the inputs be used?

The survey results will feed into a EUROCITIES report to be published in autumn 2020. We will use this report to feed key policy messages and recommendations from cities into the proposal of the European Commission for an EU Child Guarantee. This will guide our advocacy and lobbying for a strong role of cities in the EU Child Guarantee and the corresponding EU funding under the ESF+ 2021-2027.

How to contribute from your city?

Please fill in the questionnaire either in written form attached or via the form online here by 31 August 2020. We advise you to give ONE answer per city in which to involve all relevant departments in your city to provide as full answers as possible. 

We are aware that the survey is very comprehensive and it takes time to fill in. Please do not feel discouraged as there are just few questions that are essential to answer (marked *). Many questions are optional, if your time allows to answer them, we would really appreciate your efforts.

Background

One in five children in Europe is living at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The situation may get even worse due to the COVID-19 crisis that poses a risk of leaving children behind. 
 
Child poverty is recognised as a serious issue at EU level. In 2013, a common EU framework for tackling child poverty was adopted with the Council Recommendation on Investing in Children. Principle 11 of the European Pillar of Social Rights states that “children have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality” and “children have the right to protection from poverty. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds have the right to specific measures to enhance equal opportunities”. The EU’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals is also relevant, especially SDG 1 which aims to reduce by half the number of children, women and men in poverty by 2030.
 
Fighting child poverty has recently become a top priority on the EU agenda. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced in her political priorities for 2019-2024 the plan to create a European Child Guarantee, picking up on the idea proposed by the European Parliament. The Child Guarantee would support every child in poverty to have access to free healthcare, education, childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. The focus is to target the most vulnerable children and to provide free services.
 
The Commission proposed in its revised proposal on the ESF+ regulation, that member states should allocate at least 5% of the ESF+ resources under shared management to support activities addressing child poverty. This should be done in line with the specific objectives of ESF+ that allow for programming resources towards actions directly supporting children with regards to early childcare, education, healthcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. To access the money, member states would need to have national strategic policy frameworks in place for poverty reduction and social inclusion with a specific attention to preventing and tackling child poverty. The Child Guarantee will help deliver the national strategies. It is not expected to be a one-size-fits-all, but rather member states to use the funding according to where is needed most. That is why there is a good opportunity for cities to play an active role in shaping and delivering Child Guarantee schemes and benefit from ESF+ to improve local services and support to children and families in vulnerable situations.
 
This is a key opportunity for cities to play an active role in shaping and delivering Child Guarantee schemes and benefit from ESF+ to improve local services and support to children and families in vulnerable situations.
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EUROCITIES staff contact

Bianca Faragau-Tavares
bianca.faragau@eurocities.eu