According Eurostat, 13% of households in Europe have three or more children
24 associations of 21 European countries are asked to present and discuss five commmon demands to their Eurocandidates.
European Large Families Associations have started a campaign of contacts with political parties to include five petitions that affect this collective in the programs for the European elections scheduled on May 2019. These associations are members of the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC), currently present in twenty-one countries, who considers that large families in Europe are not only ignored and without recognition by the public authorities but even penalized many times for the simple fact of having more children.
The five petitions are within the competences of the European Union institutions, they will help families with children to improve their life quality:
- Reduce VAT for diapers and basic goods for children. Now, they are taxed in most European countries by the highest rates, like luxury goods.
- Recognize the unpaid work of care in the household (invisible work) when calculating the national GDP -as it is already done, for example, with gambling and prostitution. The recognition would lead to considering invisible work in pensions and wages.
- To allow large families with 7 and more children to drive the family van without professional driver driving license as it happens now.
- End discrimination by reason of number of children in basic consumptions tariff: water, electricity, gas, etc…
- Support and recognize the European Large Family Card in order to ease the mobility of large families and their access to discounts and benefits, fighting the economic and cultural poverty among large families.
These petitions will be presented by national associations of large families to political parties to incorporate them into their electoral programs. According to Ms. Regina Maroncelli, president of ELFAC, “Europe has been experiencing a long demographic winter for more than forty years, but according to statistics there are many families who would like to have more children than they currently have. Or we make a Europe more family-friendly or we will go towards a greater impoverishment of future generations”. For Ms. Maroncelli, mother of four children, “we cannot accept that having more children could be a reason today in Europe for employment, social, fiscal or economic discrimination. Europe should be built with more medium and long-term policies, and recognition of families with more children is fundamental to guarantee our welfare system. “
“Or we make a Europe more family-friendly or we will go towards a greater impoverishment of future generations”
According with the Household Composition Statistic of Eurostat, 13% of households in Europe have three or more children; that means 8.5 million. The highest share of households with three or more children in 2017 was registered in Ireland (26%), followed by Belgium and Finland (both 19%), France (18%) and the United Kingdom (17%). At the opposite end of the scale, less than 10% of households with children had at least three children in Bulgaria (5%), Portugal (6%), Spain and Italy (both 8%) (see Eurostat).
The European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) was formally constituted in 2004, gathering Large Families Associations across Europe. This Confederation represents more than 50 millions of European citizens who belong to the 8.5 million of large families. The objectives of the Confederation shall be to represent the social and economic interests of families with children, in general, and large families, in particular, as the most appropriate environment for bringing up children, integrating them into society, and providing mutual support and solidarity among generations; as well as the promotion, development and unity of the movement of large family organizations.