Study on Child Poverty and Child Well-Being in the EU
In recent years, the mainstreaming of child poverty and child well-being has become a priority for the European political agenda. As part of the European cooperation on social protection and social inclusion (the Social Open Method of Coordination, henceforth the Social OMC), the European Union has expressed its strong political commitment to combating child poverty and promoting well-being among children, regardless of their social background. This process has gone through several main steps.
- The March 2005 EU Presidency Conclusions, which explicitly refer to child poverty and announce the European Youth Pact.
- The 2005 Luxembourg Presidency initiative on ‘Taking forward the EU Social Inclusion Process’, which called explicitly for the mainstreaming of children and for the adoption of at least one child well-being indicator at the EU level.
- The 2006 March Presidency Conclusions, which called for more action to eradicate child poverty in the Member States.
- The adoption in 2006 of the Commission’s Communication entitled ‘Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, Communication from the Commission’.
- Since 2006, with the streamlining of the Social OMC, there has been a more systematic consideration of several well-being indicators for children.
- There has been a series of reports and recommendations on tackling child poverty and social exclusion produced within the framework of initiatives funded under PROGRESS, as part of the Social OMC; these include reports from the EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion, the European poverty networks (e.g. Eurochild, the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) and the European Social Network (ESN)), various peer reviews and other exchange projects.
- The establishment in 2007 of the EU Task-Force on Child Poverty and Child Well-Being (here referred to as the EU Task-Force).
- The formal adoption in January 2008 of the report and recommendations of the EU Task-Force by all Member States and the Commission, and the incorporation of these into the EU acquis in this area.
- The inclusion in National Strategy Reports in 2008 of child poverty as a key priority in 24 Member States, many of which set quantified targets for its reduction.
- The planned publication in 2010 (European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion) of a Commission staff working paper on child poverty.
The Study on Child poverty and Child Well-Being was conceived as a follow-up to the work carried out in 2007 by the Commission and the Member States in the context of the European Strategy for Social Inclusion. The Study built upon the report prepared by the EU Task-Force on Child Poverty and Child Well-Being (2008): Child poverty and well-being in the EU - Current status and way forward
, as well as on the in-depth study commissioned by the European Commission and written by Petra Hoelscher (2004): A thematic study using transnational comparisons to analyse and identify what combination of policy responses are most successful in preventing and reducing high levels of child poverty.