Eurochild calls for Commission’s President to address 5 main challenges that children in Europe face today

With the State of the Union speech approaching, we call the President of the European Commission to ensure children are the top policy priority for the upcoming year.

The State of the Union address (SOTEU) is the annual speech addressed by the President of the European Commission to the European Parliament plenary session in September.

Current data shows that one in four children (24.7%) in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis are exacerbating existing hardship and inequalities. The situation is further aggravated by the impact of accelerating climate change and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

As Eurochild, we have identified five areas for action to ensure the EU meets its commitments towards children’s rights:

  1. Child poverty: The number of children at risk of poverty and social exclusion will continue to grow. It is key to ensure Member States implement all mechanisms, including the European Child Guarantee and the European Semester.
  2. Anti-child rights movements: The growth of anti-child rights movements across the EU represents a significant challenge that needs to be properly addressed by strengthening democracy across the Union.
  3. Children’s mental health: The pandemic has deteriorated the mental situation of children across Europe. The Commission must take efficient measures to care for and strengthen the mental health of children.
  4. Digital environment: The work on creating a safe digital environment for children is as important as ever. There is a clear need for meaningful and protective regulation on child sexual abuse.
  5. Children in migration: The EU and Member States have an obligation to guarantee the necessary social support and child protection as well as access to early childhood education and health care for all migrant children.

We call President von der Leyen to address these five significant challenges faced by children in Europe to make them safe, healthy, confident and supported to fulfil their full potential.

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