In 2014 the United Nations is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family. Celebrating families in 2014 would represent a major recognition of the considerable role played by families in all Member States and in Europe as a whole.
The year would also give a very positive message to all Europeans, namely that it not only focuses on matching skills and jobs, but it also wants to improve the lives and wellbeing of its citizens. Through addressing the demographic challenges, we can also look forward to a more optimistic future for the European Union.
The 2014 Year could also be a great opportunity to give continuity to the previous European Years, and address European citizens with issues that are really close to them and their every-day preoccupations. The proposed 2014 European Year would build on the achievements and continue to pursue the policy objectives of the previous years, having relevant cross-cutting issues at its heart, starting with 2010, the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, 2011 the European Year of Volunteering, the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and the 2013 European Year of Citizens.
COFACE is currently bringing together a number of European NGOs, Social Partners and Family organisations acrossEurope to support the campaign to have 2014 designated as the European Year for Reconciling Work and Family Life.
We would welcome a decision by the European Commission before the end of 2012 to designate 2014 as the European Year for Reconciling Work and Family Life, and in parallel to entrust COFACE with the leadership role for the Civil Society organisations taking part in the activities of the year.