The member states will have nine months to propose a national plan for implementation by 2030 and lift 5 million children across the EU from the risk of poverty.
This is a victory for the 18 million European children at risk of poverty. Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labor, Unity and Social Security, concluded in a statement to DN/Dinheiro Vivo that the negotiation results that finally reached the agreement adopted recommendations on European child protection.
At today’s meeting in Luxembourg, the ministers responsible for employment and social affairs will pledge to provide children with decent housing, free medical care and education, and healthy meals in school every day. Of the 18 million children under the age of 18 who are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, slightly more than a quarter (28%) have lifted 5 million children out of poverty.
As a result, the ministers completed a procedure that began in 2013 with the proposal of the European Commission (EC), moved to the social rights pillar in 2017, and is now closed due to European child protection during Portugal’s EU presidency. Also as a follow-up to the pledge made at the Porto Social Summit in early May of this year.
Ana Mendes Godinho explained: “For all member states, this is a European tool that can mobilize financial resources and regulatory measures to ensure that poverty and social exclusion are reduced. Number of children.”
But how is it done? “From the very beginning, it stipulated that all member states must nominate a national child protection coordinator and develop an action plan within nine months with a goal of 2030 and take specific measures to ensure that this goal is achieved. “, explained that the Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security.
“It puts huge demands on the member states for these action plans with concrete measures and mobilization of financial resources, because from the beginning, it foresaw the mobilization of European resources, namely the European Social Fund Plus (FSE+) and NextGenerationEU,” he emphasized .
For this reason, countries that are still above the European average are obliged to reserve at least 5% of the new ESF+ to eliminate child poverty. “In countries where the risk of poverty or exclusion of children is higher than the European average, this 5% is the minimum amount to deal with the risk of poverty or exclusion of children. This is the standard,” he explained to Anna Mendes Gordinho.
Portugal almost average
According to the latest data from Eurostat in 2019, the EU averages 22.2%. Portugal is slightly higher than Portugal, with 22.3% of children and young people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, corresponding to more than 300,000 children under the age of 18. The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics, referring to last year, points to a provisional value of 21.6%, but most member states still have no value, which prevents comparisons among 27.
But taking 2019 as a reference, Portugal will also have to retain the above 5% ESF+ to combat child poverty and social exclusion. Similar to what the Recovery and Rehabilitation Program (PRR) did, the government also hopes to be one of the first countries to promote child protection programs.
“Now, we have established a committee of experts to formulate a national strategy to eradicate poverty,” the minister first pointed out. He also pointed out: “The committee has been developing measures and goals to reduce poverty among the groups most at risk”, and revealed that “a resolution of the Council of Ministers is preparing to pass a child protection plan in Portugal, and in nine The introduction of this action plan for children will be launched within this month.”
The expectation of a commitment among the 27 countries is relatively low, namely the European child protection program that will be launched in Luxembourg today. But similar to what happened in Porto, the President of Portugal secured agreements between member states, which would affect the national capabilities of each country.
The target will be evaluated within the scope of the European semester to determine whether the member states have achieved the set target. “All these aspects that appear in the action plan are also included in the revised indicator panel, which is the result of the action plan approved by the Porto Social Summit and becomes part of the European semester review and monitoring”, points out Anna Mendes Go Digno
In addition to child protection, the EU ministers responsible for employment and social affairs will also discuss the European Minimum Wage Directive (which will not be closed during the Portuguese presidency that ends on June 30), remote work, covid-19’s gender equality or Strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities.