European Child Guarantee : Belgian national action plan

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    In early May 2022, Belgium submitted its national action plan on the EU Child Guarantee to the European Commission. In 2019, just before the coronavirus crisis, more than 22% (18 million) of children in Europe were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. With the European Child Guarantee, European Member States, including Belgium, are seeking more equal opportunities for vulnerable children.

    This Belgian National Action Plan is the result of coordinated collaboration between all responsible policy levels on children's rights and the battle against poverty, as well as civil society organisations familiar with this theme. The next step now is to implement this action plan into policy.

    All levels of policy together against child poverty

    The European target is to lift 5 million European children out of poverty by 2030. In Belgium, one in five children currently faces child poverty. For this country, the target is at least 93,000 children (aged 0-18) by 2030.

    In order to achieve this, we are working on 4 axes. Belgium wants to ensure that vulnerable children

    • have effective and free access to high-quality education, that there is childcare for young children, that there are educational activities and school events, and that a healthy meal is guaranteed every school day;
    • have effective and free access to high-quality health care;
    • have access to sufficient and healthy food, in particular through the European programme for the consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk at schools;
    • have effective access to adequate housing.

    The battle against child poverty: a priority

    During the first half of 2024, it will be Belgium’s turn to assume the Presidency of the European Union. Poverty reduction with a focus on children in vulnerable situations will be a major focus during this presidency.

    The battle against child poverty and breaking the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty has long been a European focus. The Child Guarantee should be seen as a concrete approach to breaking this intergenerational cycle of poverty.

    From the PPS Social Integration, the coordination of the Belgian Poverty Reduction Policy is ensured in close collaboration and dialogue with all policy levels.

    Anita Opfergelt, acting Child Guarantee Coordinator at PPS Social Integration: "In the few weeks since I was able to take on the role of Child Guarantee Coordinator, I have already noticed that the various European Member States are taking their role in this matter to heart. There is a very strong belief that every child deserves to grow up and develop in a warm society. I see my role as Child Guarantee Coordinator primarily in transforming this shared social vision into a coordinated, concrete approach against child poverty and social inequality. This is through involving all actors, policy-wise and on the ground."

    Belgian national action plan for European Child Guarantee