Making the European Child Guarantee a Reality. Insights from testing the European Child Guarantee
High Level Event [Online] - 10 June 2021, 15:00 - 17:00 CET
The European Commission has partnered with UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) to test how the EU Child Guarantee can work in practice in seven Member States.
The high-level event “Making the European Child Guarantee a Reality in the EU: Insights from testing the European Child Guarantee” took stock of how the pilot has progressed in the pilot countries to inspire all Member States in their implementation of the European Child Guarantee. It provided an opportunity to share experiences and gave concrete examples of good practices, models and services that are proving successful in supporting children in need and addressing child poverty and social exclusion.
The high-level event was organised jointly by the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and the European Commission, in coordination with the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The high-level consisted of a panel discussion of ministers in charge of social affairs and other high-level government representatives from Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. The event was joined by Portugal’s Minister for Employment, Solidarity, and Social Security Ms. Ana Mendes Godinho, the Vice President of the European Commission, Dubravka Šuica, the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Mr. Nicolas Schmit and UNICEF´s Director for Europe and Central Asia Region, Ms. Afshan Khan.
The President of the European Parliament, Mr. David Sassoli, addressed the event through a video message.
Let's listen to young people from Europe and Central Asia answering tough questions
What does it mean to be a child living in poverty or facing disadvantages?
What do you feel when you think about child poverty or about exclusion and discrimination?
What do you think that the leaders in your country and in Europe should guarantee to children living in poverty or those that face difficulties?
Which children and communities do you think need the most help and what do you think can be done to help them?
|Moderator: Shada Islam|
15:00 – 15:30
Mr. David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament (Video Message)
Ms. Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister for Employment, Solidarity, and Social Security, Portugal
Mr. Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
Ms. Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia (ECA), and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe
|Services and programmes focusing on the most disadvantaged children|
|15:30 – 15:30||
Sharing of experience from pilot Member States
Ms. Elena Bonetti, Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family, Italy
Ms. Domna-Maria Michailidou, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Greece
Mr. Ivan Krastev, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Bulgaria
Ms. Margareta Mađerić, State Secretary, Minister of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, Croatia
Accelerating and implementing policies for ending child poverty and exclusion
15:30 – 15:55
Sharing of experience from pilot Member States
Mr. Nacho Álvarez, State Secretary for Social Rights, Spain
Ms. Juliane Seifert, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany
Ms. Vilma Augienė, Deputy Minister of Social Security and Labour, Lithuania
Mr. Andrea Orlando, Minister of Labour and Social Policies, Italy
Reflections from other EU participants
16:20 – 15:50
Ms. Karine Lalieux, Minister of Pensions and Social Integration, Belgium
Mr. Adrien Taquet, State Secretary for Childhood and Family, France
Ms. Florica Cherecheș, President of the National Authority for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Children and Adoptions, Romania
Ms. Saila Ruuth, State Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland
Reflections from other participants
Building momentum for the European Child Guarantee and looking to the future
|16:50 – 17:00||
Mr. Janez Cigler Kralj, Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia (video message)
Ms. Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography
Shada Islam is an influential Brussels-based specialist on European Union affairs who works independently as a commentator, advisor, analyst and strategist on Europe, Asia, Africa, Geopolitics, Trade, Migration, Inclusion, Diversity and Women’s Empowerment. Shada has spent most of her professional life researching, writing, analysing and speaking about the European Union and its relations with Asia and Africa as well as EU Development Policy, Trade Policy and Migration. She runs her own Brussels-based global strategy and advisory media company, New Horizons Project (NHP). She is a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin) and a Solvay Fellow at the Vrije University Brussel (VUB). In 2017, she was selected as one of the 20 most influential women in Brussels by the magazine Politico. Shada is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development. She is a member of the European Policy Centre’s Strategic Council and Senior Advisor for its Europe in the World programme. She is also on the Brussels Advisory Committee of Women in International Security. Recently she was appointed as a Senior Advisor to counsel clients on geopolitical trends at Burson Cohn & Wolfe Brussels.
European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography
Since December 2019, Ms. Dubravka Šuica is the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Democracy and Demography. Ms. Šuica is a Croatian politician from the city of Dubrovnik, where she served as its first female mayor and was awarded the 2006 World Mayor Award. She entered politics in the 1990s as a Member of the Croatian Democratic Union and served as a Member of the Croatian Parliament and Vice-Chair of the EU Integration Committee. Between 2004 and 2009 she was a Board Member of the Union of the Association of Towns and Municipalities of the Republic of Croatia. For ten years she was President of the Croatian Delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. From 2013 to 2019 Ms. Šuica served as a Member of the European Parliament. In June 2019, she was elected as first Vice-Chair of EPP Group in the European Parliament.
European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, he served as a Member of the European Parliament for the social-democratic Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei following his election in May 2019. From 2009 to 2018, he held the position of Minister for Labour and Employment in the Luxembourgish government. In 2004, he was appointed Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration. Following a long career of public service, he took up duty as Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU in 1998 for a six-year term. Nicolas Schmit holds a Doctorate in International Economic Relations and a Masters in French Literature from the University of Aix-Marseille.
UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and the Special Coordinator for the Refuge and Migrant Response in Europe.
Ms. Khan has been an international public servant for over 30 years. Previously she was the Director of Emergency Programmes for UNICEF, and she has also held other senior positions including Director of Public-Sector Alliances and Resource Mobilization; Associate Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa; and UNICEF Representative in Jamaica. Ms. Khan has extensive field experience including assignments in Kenya; Mozambique; Democratic Republic of Congo; and Colombia. She also has broad United Nations-wide expertise stemming from assignments with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (IASC) in Geneva; the Executive Office of the Secretary- General; and the United Nations Development Group. From 2012 to 2014 Ms. Khan took leave from the United Nations to become the CEO of Women for Women International. In that role, she was responsible for setting the strategic vision and mobilizing the necessary resources for women rebuilding their lives after war. Ms. Khan was born in Hyderabad, India and grew up in Montreal, Canada. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from McGill University.
Minister of Pensions, Social Integration, Fighting Poverty and Disabled Persons
Born on 4 May 1964 in Anderlecht (Brussels), Karine Lalieux studied Criminology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she was a lecturer for more than ten years. In 1999, Karine Lalieux ran for the first time in the Federal elections and was elected Member of the Belgian Parliament, a position she held until 2018. As MP, she was actively involved in fighting all forms of exclusion and defending social justice, better access to housing, the universal banking service and financial regulation, the refugees’ rights, …
She is also committed at the local level, as an elected member of the Brussels City Council since 2006. In December 2018, she became President of the Public Center for Public Welfare of the City of Brussels until September 2020. On 1 October 2020, Karine Lalieux was sworn in as Federal Minister for Pensions and Social Integration, in charge of Disabled People, the Fight against Poverty and Beliris.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy
Ivan Krastev is responsible for the management of European Union Funds and the Ministry's activities related to international cooperation. He was born in 1980 in Stara Zagora. He holds a Master's degree in International Relations from the St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University, and a Master's degree in Finance from the University of National and World Economy. In 2006 he started his professional career in the European Funds, International Programs and Projects Directorate in the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. From 2011 to 2013 he was Director General of the European Funds and International Projects Directorate General at the Employment Agency. In 2013, he was appointed as a Deputy Minister of Education and Science, responsible for international cooperation. In the period 2014-2019 he worked as an expert on European integration and was engaged in the preparation of expert papers on topics related to the activities of the Member of the European Parliament Georgi Pirinski. Since July 2019 he was Secretary of the Delegation of the Bulgarian Socialists in the European Parliament. He is the author of a number of publications on topics related to the management of European Union funds, the labour market, socio-economic inequalities, higher and vocational education.
State Secretary, Ministry of Labour, the Pension System, the Family and Social Policy European Union
Margareta Mađerić was born on 2 July 1977 in Zagreb. After finishing high school, she enrolled in Zagreb School of Business where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communication and worked as a marketing and communications manager before entering into politics.
In 2005, as a member of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Mađerić was elected to the Zagreb City Assembly, where she served three consecutive terms and served as president of the Deputy Club of the Croatian Democratic Union.
In the 2013 local elections in Zagreb, she ran as the HDZ candidate for mayor, and in the 2015 Croatian parliamentary elections, Mađerić ran as a candidate for the Patriotic Coalition, led by the HDZ. She was a member of the Croatian Parliament and was named president of the Parliamentary committee for mandates and immunity, before she assumed the position of State Secretary in the Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social policy.
Following the 2020 parliamentary elections she continued to serve as State Secretary in the new Ministry of Labour, Pension system, Family and Social Policy.
State Secretary to Minister of Social Affairs
Before her appointment as State Secretary, Saila Ruuth worked in the Finnish Industrial Union as an expert in social affairs and working environment. Her other previous workplaces include the Ministry of Education and Culture, employment pension company Ilmarinen, and the unemployment fund of the Finnish Food Workers’ Union. Ruuth holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences. She has served as the Chair of the Left Women in Finland, Member of the Executive Board of the European Left, and as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Left Alliance.
Finland’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health.
Aino-Kaisa Pekonen has served as Member of Parliament since 2011, focusing in particular on questions regarding social and health policy. Pekonen is a trained Practical Nurse for Social and Health Care and she used to work as a housing counsellor and practical nurse before being elected as Member of Parliament.
She has served as Vice-Chair of the Left Alliance and chaired the party’s Parliamentary Group. Pekonen has also been active in many civil society tasks, for example as Chair of the Board of the HIV Foundation.
Adrien Taquet (1977) is a French politician representing La République En Marche. He is an alumnus of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. He was elected to the French National Assembly in June 2017, representing the department of the Hauts-de-Seine. On 25 January 2019, he was nominated as Secretary of State for Child Protection, at the French Ministry for Solidarity and Health, and was nominated on 26 July 2020 as Secretary of State for Childhood and Families. As such, he is in charge of child protection, parenting support, and the fight against all types of violence against children.
State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Since 2018 Juliane Seifert has been State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. From 2016 until 2017 she held the position of Federal Manager of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Before, she worked at the State Chancellery of Rhineland-Palatinate and two federal ministries. She studied history in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Florence and completed the German-French course "Master of European Governance and Administration" in Paris and Potsdam.
DR DOMNA MICHAILIDOU
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
Dr Domna Michailidou is responsible for social welfare and social solidarity. She is an academic economist working on economic development, financial crises and public finances. She was previously Reforms’ Adviser to the Leader of New Democracy Party in Greece, where she advised Kyriakos Mitsotakis on a series of issues related to structural reforms, macroeconomic growth and financial markets. Since 2014, Dr Michailidou was also Adjunct Lecturer in the Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge where she has been teaching topics related to finance and development, private and public debt and government regulation. She has worked for the OECD in Paris and Athens as an economist and a competition expert. Dr Michailidou has also taught for several years at the Judge Business School University of Cambridge and UCL’s School of Public Policy. She has advised governmental and non-governmental institutions such as the UNDP, the FAO, the British Council, the Ministry of Health in Iran et al.. Her latest book, The Inexorable Evolution of Financialisation: Financial Crises in Emerging Markets, was published by Palgrave MacMillan. Her work has also appeared in academic journals, institutional reports and the popular press. She holds an MPhil and a PhD on Financial and Development Economics from the University of Cambridge.
Minister of Labour and Social Policies
Andrea Orlando was born in La Spezia on February 8th, 1969. From 13 February 2021 he is Minister of Labour and Social Policies in the Government chaired by Prime Minister Mario Draghi.He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, from the 15th in 2006 to the current 18th legislature, and since 27 March 2018 he has been a member of the Parliamentary Group of the Democratic Party. Since April 17, 2019, he held the position of Deputy Secretary of the Democratic Party. From 22 February 2014 to 1 June 2018, he held the position of Minister of Justice in the Governments chaired by Prime Minister Renzi and Prime Minister Gentiloni. From 28 April 2013 to 22 February 2014, he was appointed as Minister of the Environment and of the protection of the territory and the sea in the government chaired by Prime Minister Letta. He was a member of the VIII Parliamentary Commission "Environment, Territory and Public Works" and member of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Assembly of the Council of Europe. In the Chamber of Deputies, he has also been member of the 5th Parliamentary Commission "Budget, Treasury and Planning" and of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the phenomenon of mafia and other criminal associations, including foreign ones.
Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family
Ms. Elena Bonetti is Associate Professor of Mathematical Analysis at the University of Milan. Graduated in Mathematics in 1997 at the University of Pavia, in 2002 Ms. Bonetti obtained a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Milan. She is committed to the Scout Movement and has experiences in the field of education and youth.
Ms. Bonetti held the office of Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family from 5 September 2019 to 13 January 2021. On 13 February 2021, she was appointed again as Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family by Prime Minister Prof. Mario Draghi.
Vice Minister of Social Security and Labour
Vilma Augiené received her Bachelors in pre-school pedagogy and psychology from the Vilnius Pedagogical University in 1993 and her Masters in Children’s Rights in 2013. She was first appointed Vice-Minister of Social Security and Labour in 2017, and then reappointed in 2020. Before this she has served as head of Child Rights Protection Division (2010), head of Social Assistance Division (2011) and deputy director of Administration (2015) of the Vilnius city municipality. Moreover, Ms Auigiené also supervises activities of the Family and Child Rights Protection Group, Social Services Division and the Social Care Division.
ANA MENDES GODINHO
Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security
Ana Mendes Godinho is the Portuguese Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security since 26 October 2019. She was the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism between 2015 and 2019. Before joining the Government of Portugal, she was Vice-President of the Portuguese National Tourism Authority (Turismo de Portugal), Member of the Board of Turismo Capital (venture capital company) and Member of the Board of Turismo Fundos (real estate fund company), among other leading positions. Ana Mendes Godinho holds a Post-Graduation in Labour Law and a Law degree from the Lisbon University (Universidade de Lisboa). She is also Coordinator of the post graduate degree on Tourism Law at the Lisbon University. Ana Mendes Godinho is a Labour Inspector and directed the Department for the Support of Inspection Activity at the Portuguese Authority for Working Conditions (ACT). Born in 1972, Ana Mendes Godinho is married and is a Mother of 3 children.
President of the National Authority for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Children and Adoptions
Mrs. Florica Cherecheș possesses vast experience in the field of human rights as a result of her two consecutive mandates as deputy in the Romanian Parliament. In her official capacity, she drafted more than 100 bills (30 of them were enacted into laws), advocated for the improvement of the minimum standards pertaining to social services, for the promotion and development of vocational education and played a significant role in the development of the national child protection system. Moreover, Florica Cherecheș occupied the following positions: vice-chairperson of the Committee on Education from the Chamber of Deputies (Romanian Governemnt), local councilor and deputy mayor of Oradea, and executive director of an NGO specialized in social economy.
JANEZ CIGLER KRALJ
Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the Republic of Slovenia
Janez Cigler Kralj holds a Master’s Degree in Political Sciences from the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Ljubljana. Prior to his political career he worked for a media company and the national scholarship fund. Between 2012 and 2020, he worked as a senior advisor for the political group of Nova Slovenija – Christian democrats (NSi) in the national assembly. He also presided the NSi employee association. A father of four, he is a former scout leader and active in several associations.
IGNACIO ÁLVAREZ PERALTA
Secretary of State for Social Rights of the Government of Spain.
Ignacio Álvarez Peralta holds a PhD in Economics from the University Complutense of Madrid. He is an Associate Professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Department of Economic Structure, and a Research Associate at the Complutense Institute of International Studies (ICEI). He has also been an Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Economics, at the University of Valladolid (2012-2015). He has studied in the United States (North Carolina) and in France (Paris VII University), and is the author of more than thirty books and research articles.