The meeting took place online on Tuesday 19 January 2021.
Ms. Šuica opened the meeting by referring to the challenges of her Vice-Presidency, such as the approval of the European Child Guarantee (she referred to the contribution made by ELFAC in the public consultation process), the project of the Atlas of Demography (with special attention to demographic trends, and indicators of family friendly territories), the realization of the Green Paper on Aging, as well as the support to families in the extraordinary difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to the work and family life balance directive and the attention to early childhood.
As a Croatian, Ms. Šuica spoke with satisfaction about the election of the Toljanić family as European Large Family of the Year 2020, and agreed to present the award if possible, and also about Dubrovnik’s membership of the European Network of Family Friendly Municipalities since its inception, a municipality of which she is a former mayor.
Raúl Sánchez, Secretary General of ELFAC, then presented the organisation to Ms. Suica, with 26 associations in 22 European countries, as well as the main projects for this year, such as the European Network of Family Friendly Municipalities (of which 31 municipalities from seven countries are currently members), the launch of a European large family card and the dissemination of information on the reality of large families with congresses, papers, reports and surveys.
Regina Maroncelli, president of ELFAC, accompanied by Elisabeth Müller, vice-president, explained ELFAC’s demands to the European institutions, in the Child Guarantee or in local policies, always with the aim of not leaving any family behind, not penalising them on the basis of the number of children, to value the contribution of families with more children to the maintenance of the welfare system and the generation of human capital, and to achieve greater equality in the treatment and support of families with children at the European level, so that it is not a reason that slows down mobility within the European territory.
Finally, Kata Gyurko and Kinga Joo, president and vice-president respectively of the Hungarian association of large families, NOE, presented to Ms. Suica the 10th European Congress of Large Families which, if the pandemic allows it, will take place in July 2021 in Budapest and in Keszthely, a beautiful town by the Balaton Lake, where activities with families from countries all over Europe are planned. Ms Šuica’s invitation to the congress was reiterated and she accepted if health circumstances permit.