COFACE officially launched the 2014 Year of Reconciling Work and Family Life in Europe, on the 23rd January in the European Parliament. MEP Marian Harkin hosted the event, and she also gave a very inspirational speech for those who came to celebrate the start of this busy year with us (pictures of the event available here).
We took this opportunity to present our planned activities for 2014. Throughout the year we will be working together with the 2014 Alliance on the different sections of the European Reconciliation Package – which will contain the main policy recommendations we believe would help improve work-life balance and the quality of life of families in Europe. In addition, we are organizing three High Level events this year:
► 29 April: Conference “Families in the crisis”. Under the auspices of the Greek Presidency in Athens.
► 8-9 September: European Employers’ Reconciliation Forum. Endorsed by the Finnish Ministry of Social Welfare in Helsinki.
► October/November: Conference on Social innovation. Under the auspices of the Italian Presidency in Italy.
From the overwhelming positive feedback we received in the past week and from what our members and other stakeholders are telling us, it is obvious, that reconciliation and work-life balance are important preoccupations for many, both on an individual and on an institutional level. Therefore it comes as no surprise, that many others are also organising events and conferences around Europe on the issue. These you can see from the Events section. We ourselves have been invited to a great number of them, and we are taking all of these opportunities to collect more knowledge, more practices, more research studies and everything that will enrich our Package towards the end of the year.
We highly encourage everyone, not only to get involved in what we are able to offer, but also to organise events, debates, carry out surveys or whatever comes to mind to help us spread the importance of the issue and create a kind of ripple effect, that we are really hoping for. Everybody can get involved throughout the year. If you have any ideas or suggestion on how you may get involved, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.