In 2019 Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the creation of a European Child Guarantee with a view to ensuring that every child in Europe at risk of poverty or social exclusion has access to the most basic of rights like healthcare and education.
The objective of the European Child Guarantee, which was adopted by the Council in June 2021, is to prevent and combat social exclusion by guaranteeing the access of children in need to a set of key services:
- early childhood education and care
- education (including school-based activities)
While most children in the EU already have access to these services, inclusive and truly universal access is vital for ensuring equal opportunities for all children, and in particular those who experience social exclusion due to poverty or other forms of a disadvantage.
The European Child Guarantee itself will be effective only within a broader set of integrated measures, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, and within a broader policy framework of the EU strategy on the Rights of the Child.
National action plans
Article 11(c) of the Council Recommendation establishing a European Child Guarantee asks the Member States to submit action plans on how they will to implement the child guarantee. The action plans should cover the period until 2030 and take into account national, regional and local circumstances as well as existing policy actions and measures to support children in need.
The main purpose of the national action plans is to describe the existing and planned national and subnational policy measures, which aim to improve access of children in need to the set of key services covered by the European Child Guarantee.
See the national action plans submitted by the Member States: