As the United Nations marks the International Day of Families on Wednesday, Caritas Europa is calling on future Members of the European Parliament (MEP) standing for election in less than ten days’ time, to defend family values and the interests of families.
“Family is the basic cell and an essential pillar of any fair society, along with an inclusive labour market and adequate social protection mechanisms,” says a statement by Caritas Europa on the occasion of the May 15 International Day of Families.
Caritas Europa, which is a member of Caritas Internationalis, the global federation of over 160 national Catholic charities, is urging the European Union and its members to produce family-friendly policies that benefit all,” saying it is a “necessity for the future of Europe”.
“It is imperative that European leaders deliver on their commitment to the European Pillar of Social Rights and ensure the protection of families,” says the network of 49 national Caritas units of 46 European countries.
The European Parliament (EP) elections which take place every five years, is scheduled from May 23 to 26, this year. Each of the 28 member states has a fixed number of MEPs.
Poverty and social exclusion
Caritas Europa notes that across Europe, families are facing poverty or social exclusion in terms of access to housing, education, health care and decent work and they are struggling to ensure a better future for their children.”
Emphasizing that “investing in the family is investing in our societies,” it is calling for urgent policies that can “address Europe’s ongoing demographic decline and that can tackle the increasing levels of poverty and inequalities.”
Caritas Europa recommends the future MEPs help improve the living conditions of the most deprived families, build on and further develop the achievements of the previous parliament, such as in reducing child poverty and the work-life balance directive. In this way, it says, they can contribute to ensuring that nobody is left behind and all children can enjoy a bright future.