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Child poverty and social exclusion is one of the major challenges facing the European Union and, in February 2013, as a key part of its Social Investment Package (SIP), the European Commission issued a major Recommendation on Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
This puts forward a common European Framework that is expected to help Member States “strengthen synergies across relevant policy areas” as well as “review their policies and learn from each other’s experiences in improving policy efficiency and effectiveness through innovative approaches, whilst taking into account the different situations and needs at local, regional and national level”.
It also encourages the use of EU financial instruments, especially the Structural Funds, to promote social inclusion and combat poverty. In particular, it sets out guidelines for Member States to “organise and implement policies to address child poverty and social exclusion, promoting children’s well-being, through multi-dimensional strategies”.
Members of the European Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion were asked to prepare country reports which could assist the Commission and Member States in the implementation of the Recommendation and inform its monitoring, in particular in the context of the European Semester and the cooperation in the social area between EU countries and the European Commission.
A Synthesis Report has been produced by the Network Core Team on the basis of the independent experts’ reports covering the 28 EU Member States. It brings together the main findings of the country analyses and draws on these and the Core Team’s overall assessment to put forward a series of concrete suggestions for advancing the implementation of the Recommendation at both national and EU levels.