On 24 March the European Commission adopted the first comprehensive EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child, as well as a proposal for a Council Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee, to promote equal opportunities for children at risk of poverty or social exclusion. In preparation of both initiatives, the European Commission, in association with leading global child rights organisations, collected the views of over 10.000 children.
President von der Leyen announced the European Child Guarantee in her Political Guidelines for 2019-2024. The European Child Guarantee complements the second pillar of the Strategy on the Rights of the Child. It is also a key deliverable of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, adopted on 4 March 2021, and answers directly to Principle 11 of the Pillar: Childcare and support to children. The Action Plan proposes a target for the EU to reduce by at least 15 million the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2030, including at least 5 million children.
EU funding to support these actions is available under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), which finances projects that promote social inclusion, fight poverty and invest in people, as well as the European Regional Development Fund, InvestEU, and the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The implementation of the EU Strategy will be monitored at EU and national levels, and the Commission will report back on progress at the annual EU Forum on the Rights of the Child. The Commission calls on Member States to swiftly adopt the proposal for the Council Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee.
Within six months after its adoption, governments are encouraged to submit to the Commission national action plans on how to implement it. The Commission will monitor progress through the European Semester and issue, where necessary, country-specific recommendations.