Children First: Better Public Spending for Better Outcomes for Children & Families

Public spending must be for the public good. We believe there is no more effective way of building more cohesive and resilient communities than investing in children and families, particularly the most vulnerable.

Eurochild's Annual Conference 2014 (26-28 November, Bucharest, Romania) addressed important questions around public spending choices. What evidence is needed for good decision-making? How should evidence be used? How can we measure long-term social return on investment? How does this influence budget decisions? What is the role of the public and private sectors? How do we ensure accountability in service delivery, as well as efficiency and effectiveness? How can we meaningfully involve and empower the children and families we support?

The European and international context

The conference reflected on implementation of the 2013 European Commission Recommendation ‘Investing in Children: Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage’ and the broader Social Investment Package. It looked at how EU structural and investment funds can be better deployed in the next programming period to stimulate reforms and develop innovative practice.

The event was also set within the context of States obligations to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which celebrates 25 years in 2014. According to Article 4, all States Parties ‘shall undertake measures [to implement the UNCRC] to the maximum extent of their available resources’. The UNCRC Committee has agreed to develop a General Comment on ‘Public Spending to Realize Children’s Rights’ to which this conference can provide valuable input.

Click here to download the Annual Conference 2014 Report.

Download here the report from the side-event on child-friendly justice.

The Eurochild Conference is organised by Eurochild, together with the Belgian co-hosts Kind and Gezin and ONE.

Eurochild is a network of organisations and individuals that promote the rights and well-being of children and young people in Europe. Their work is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children’s Rights and well-being, as well as child & youth participation are amongst their key priorities.

Kind and Gezin Kind en Gezin (Child and Family) is an agency that works actively in 'Public Health, Welfare and Family’ policy area. This Flemish agency focuses on preventive treatment and guidance of young children geared to good outcomes in the future. We work hard to enable children to achieve their full developmental potential, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially, with respect for diversity and children’s rights. This principle holds good for all the different areas that we work in.

ONE The Office of Birth and Childhood (Office de la Naissance et de l’Enfance, further referred to as ONE) is a public institution that develops birth and childhood policies. ONE is an independent organism under the Minister for Childhood of the Wallonia & Brussels Federation. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Mrs. Claudia Camus, and the General Director of the Executive Board is Mr. Benoît Parmentier.

The conference will take place at the prestigious Les Palais des Académies/Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in Brussels

The closing session of the conference is held under the auspices of the Slovak Presidency in the Council of the European Union
An advisory group of children and young people is helping to set the agenda, frame the conversations, and design an inclusive conference.

The conference approach builds on the work we have been developing within Eurochild with the support of our Participation Reference Group and the experience of Children as Actors in Transforming Society, a global annual meeting of children and adults in Switzerland. The organisers are also supported by an advisory group of some of the key stakeholders and partners in Belgium and at EU level.

Eurochild organises a conference every two years in partnership with its one or more national member organisations. Read here the report from our last conference ‘Children First: Better Public Spending for Better Outcomes for Children & Families’ held in Bucharest, Romania in 2014. 

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