Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Child guarantee for vulnerable children

Policy context

More than a quarter of all children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

In 2015 the European Parliament called for a child guarantee that would help ensure that every child in Europe at risk of poverty or social exclusion has access to:

  • free healthcare,
  • free education,
  • free early childhood education and care,
  • decent housing and
  • adequate nutrition.

In 2017, the Parliament requested the European Commission to implement a preparatory action on establishing a possible child guarantee scheme. In this context, the Commission has commissioned a Study on the feasibility of a child guarantee for vulnerable children.

Key objective of the feasibility study

The key overall objective of the study is to explore how a child guarantee scheme could contribute to:

  • combating poverty and social exclusion, particularly amongst the EU’s most disadvantaged children and
  • ensuring the access of these children to the five areas identified by the European Parliament.

The study provides a thorough analysis of the design, governance and implementation of existing schemes and compare these to the added value of a child guarantee scheme focusing on the following target groups:

  • children living in precarious family situations,
  • children residing in institutions,
  • children of recent migrants and refugees and
  • children with disabilities and other children with special needs.  

The concluding part of the study gives some preliminary indications as to how the conclusions and solutions identified for the four groups of vulnerable children could be extended to larger groups and eventually all children in the EU.

Four thematic workshops, one on each of the four target groups of disadvantaged children, took place in September and October 2019. These workshops provided the opportunity for discussions with a wide range of stakeholders and policy-makers. Each of them was informed by an in-depth discussion paper and the responses to an online consultation to gather the views from key stakeholders.

The findings of the feasibility study have been discussed at a stakeholders’ conference in Brussels in February 2020. The final report with the conclusions and recommendations of the feasibility study was published in June 2020.


The study was carried out by a consortium consisting of Applica and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), in close collaboration with Eurochild and Save the Children, and with the support of nine thematic experts, 28 national experts and an independent study editor.

Share this page