02 May 2024 14:44

European Child Guarantee: what is the situation three years after its adoption?

The "European Child Guarantee: from engagement to reality" conference, opened by the Minister for Social Integration and the Fight against Poverty, took place at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on 2 and 3 May 2024. The event was attended by H.M. The Queen, demonstrating the royal commitment to the fight against child poverty.

The conference, organised by the Public Planning Service (PPS) Social Integration, opened with a presentation of the results of the "Europe Kids Want" consultation, followed by a presentation by the NGO Save The Children on recent child poverty statistics, highlighting the crucial role of national social protection systems and the European Child Guarantee.

The national coordinators of the European Child Guarantee, together with European politicians and NGOs, then assessed the progress made by Member States in the fight against child poverty, in a context where almost 20 million children under the age of 18 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the European Union in 2022.

Mid-term review

Three years after the adoption of the European Child Guarantee by the Council of the European Union in June 2021, participants reviewed the progress made so far in its implementation. In Europe, in 2022, 24.7% of children under 18 in the EU were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. For Belgium, this percentage is 19.6% in 2022, and 19% in 2023 (-0.6%). Although below the European average, this represents almost one-fifth of children under the age of 18.

Belgium's ongoing commitment

Belgium reaffirmed its commitment to the European recommendation while setting its own target of lifting at least 93,000 children out of poverty by 2030. To this end, it has paid particular attention to consolidating administrative data so it can better assess the actions undertaken and their impact across the whole of Belgium. Her Majesty The Queen honoured the discussions with her presence, confirming the importance of this conference to the fight against child poverty in Europe.

Lastly, Belgium is committed to maintaining a regular dialogue between experts, political representatives, civil organisations and academics to formulate joint recommendations and coordinate complementary actions at all levels of governance.

Tomorrow will be devoted to more technical working sessions, led by the Office of Birth and Childhood (ONE - Wallonia-Brussels Federation) and Flanders.