PES Employment ministers: “No child left behind”

10/12/2019

Nicolas Schmit at the PES EPSCO meeting

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, speaking at the PES EPSCO meeting

It is time to make the European Child Guarantee a reality. That was the message when PES ministers met today ahead of the EPSCO Council in Brussels.

PES Employment and Social Affairs Ministers and Nicolas Schmit, the newly appointed Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, exchanged views on the Child Guarantee, gender equality, a European framework for minimum wages, and the future of work.

Currently, 1 in 4 children in Europe is at risk of poverty and social exclusion. This is unacceptable. The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have led the call to dedicate €5.9 billion for the Child Guarantee in the new European Social Fund+. The importance of tackling child poverty has now also made it onto the new Commission’s agenda.

The new PES EPSCO ministerial Chair, Finnish Minister Timo Harakka said:

"It is encouraging to see that the initiative is gaining wide political support. A European Child Guarantee will make sure that no child is left behind. Policymakers have to bear their responsibility, and ensure children's rights to free and high-quality healthcare, education, childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition all over Europe.

“Now that the new Commission has taken office, we are looking forward to their proposals. The Child Guarantee needs to become an effective tool to protect children across Europe."

The introduction of a European Child Guarantee, a long-standing progressive priority, was included in the PES 2019 European elections manifesto - A New Social Contract for Europe.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Timo Harakka, Chair, Minister of Employment, Finland
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission
  • Peter Hummelgaard Thomsen, Minister of Employment, Denmark
  • Hubertus Heil, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Juliane Seifert, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany
  • Romain Schneider, Minister of Social Security, Luxembourg
  • Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Portugal
  • Branislav Ondruš, State Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Slovakia
  • Magdalena Valerio Cordero, Minister of Labour, Migrations and Social Security, Spain
  • Rasmus Cruce Naeyé, State Secretary for Employment, Sweden
  • Agnes Jongerius, EMPL Coordinator, S&D Group in the European Parliament, Chair of PES Social Europe Network
  • Brando Benifei, MEP, S&D group in the European Parliament
  • Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES