General Assembly and International Conference
On 25 March the heads of EU states will gather for an informal summit in Rome to make major decisions on the future or Europe. As President Juncker has declared, from now on they wish to focus on achieving a social AAA rating for Europe. The European Commission is promising to release a White Paper on the Future of Europe and the Social Dimensions of the European Monetary Union at around the Rome Summit and to publish the European Pillar of Social Rights at the end of April, about a week after this conference.
Civil society, including EPA has strongly criticised some aspects of the Social Pillar during the public consultation in the second half of 2016. The main areas the package cover and that affect most families are early childhood education, child care, reconciliation of work and family life and lifelong learning. The major question mark is that it is planned for the Euro Zone only, paving the way for establishing first and second class EU citizenship.
This conference will focus on the first three of these topics, but, as always, with the underlying element of lifelong learning. We have chosen a format that allows us to learn about EU policies, those already published by then as well as those still in the pipeline, to discuss what parents wish for their children and to learn from inspiring practices within our membership and beyond.