This blog is dedicated to one of the important subjects COFACE works on, Reconciling Work and Family life. What is Reconciliation? Why is it important to talk about reconciliation at EU level? Does it concern only women? Only mums? Or also men, fathers, grandfathers?
We know that we are evolving towards a society, in which we live longer, in which women chose to have less children, and have them later in life, and a society in which everybody needs to work, if we want to maintain our standard of living. The convergence of all these trends come together in lifestyle choices and life-choices. Young couples can no longer rely on garndparents for babysitting, as they are at work too, but at the same time the rising cost of childcare puts women into difficult choices, whether it is still affordable for them to go to work. A paradox.
Family policy, and especially policies aiming at helping women and men reconcile their work engagements and family life provide and an aswer to the questions above. This is what we do at COFACE. We examine how families are living, what obstacles and choices are they facing and how can we shape policy together – NGOs, policy makers, decision makers, researchers, trade unions, to make family life happier, and choices easier.
This blog is for you, and in addition to our website and our regular newsletter, it offers more of an analytical approach to some of these issues. Please comment and share freely. All contributions are much appreciated!
COFACE does not intend with this European Year to impose any choices or ways of life on women and men or their children in Europe.
We are proposing a European Year for Reconciling Work and Family Life to bring to the table the different actors and stakeholders concerned by the issue, to exchange experience and to seek innovative and viable solutions.
We would like to lead on this year fully respecting the Member States’ competence on the policy issues, the different cultural, historic, economic and social realities in the European Union Member States.
We believe in the added value of European Years, which act as a catalyst for facilitating dialogue, exchange, mutual learning.
We are aiming for concrete outcomes for the Year, such as the proposed European Reconciliation Package, that will significantly improve the quality of life and wellbeing of working parents and carers, children and other dependants, as well as contribute to the European Union objectives of economic prosperity and social justice.
COFACE, the Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union is the initiator of the European Year for Reconciling Work and Family Life 2014 campaign and also coordinates an informal, open co-operation of European level stakeholder networks, the European Year Alliance 2014.
COFACE brings together a large number of civil society organisations with the aim of giving a voice to all families and representing the issues most important to them at the European level.
COFACE monitors closely the implementation of family and social policies in the Member States, and formulates together joint policy objectives at European level.
COFACE advocates policies of non-discrimination and equal opportunities between persons and between family forms, and specifically supports policies aimed at increasing equality between women and men, with a special focus on reconciliation policies between work, care and family life.
To know more about COFACE, please visit our website: www.coface-eu.org