S&Ds secure €5.9 billion ESF+ funding for European Child Guarantee to eradicate child poverty

In today’s vote in the European Parliament on the European Social Fund Plus the Socialists and Democrats got a major step closer to making the European Child Guarantee a reality. The S&Ds had put forward the European Child Guarantee as a new instrument to tackle the multidimensional aspects of child poverty and now continue to push for adequate funding of €5.9 billion. The S&Ds also managed to increase the budget dedicated to youth, social inclusion, the most deprived and the capacity building of social partners and civil society organisations.

S&D leader Udo Bullmann said:

“Today we have made progress towards eradicating child poverty in Europe by securing nearly six billion Euros for the European Child Guarantee. The Socialists and Democrats want to make the European Child Guarantee a reality to ensure that all children in Europe can enjoy healthy food, decent housing, free quality healthcare, childcare and education. Unfortunately, this is far from the reality in Europe today. One in four children live in poverty or danger of social exclusion. It is shameful that Europe does not even provide for the basic needs of its children. Deprivation in childhood breeds unemployment, illness and homelessness later in life. We want to break this vicious circle. Ending child poverty is the first and most crucial step to reducing inequalities. I am proud that in today’s vote we could defend the Child Guarantee against the resistance of the liberals and some conservatives in this house. For sure, there can be no better investment than investing in our children.”

Brando Benifei, S&D MEP responsible for the European Social Fund Plus, the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative, added:

“I am glad we managed to double the budget for the Youth Employment Initiative. Since the Socialists and Democrats pushed the European Commission against the resistance of conservative sceptics to create the Youth Guarantee, more than 10 million young Europeans have been brought into jobs and training.  With over three million young Europeans still unemployed it is high time its funding is scaled up to ensure more young people can benefit from the Youth Guarantee. We will continue our effort to ensure that all measures offered to young people are of high quality and allow for the durable and sustainable integration into the labour market. The fight against precarious employment is one of the S&D Group top priorities.

“As Europe’s key instrument for promoting social inclusion and fighting poverty it is crucial that the European Social Fund is endowed with sufficient funding, but it also must have the right priorities. The S&D Group wants to ensure that children, the youth and those most in need are given the opportunity to thrive. Combatting inequalities is a matter of social justice but also a lever for jobs and growth. Now it’s the time for member states to show their ambition and commit to investing in our people and their future”