EUROPE – September 13 2019

Child rights groups call for an EU Commissioner for Children

The children's rights network Eurochild has launched a petition that calls for the appointment of an EU Commissioner for Children. The petition targets European Union leaders and comes at the time when new EU Commissioners are being elected.

European leaders are currently selecting the next team of European Commissioners, the executive arm of the European Union (EU). While the EU is committed to implementing children’s rights, there is no EU Commissioner for Children.

A new petition run by Eurochild, of which SOS Children's Villages International is a member, calls for an EU Commissioner for Children. The petition aims to reach 5,000 signatures and raise visibility of the need to prioritize child rights within the EU’s political agenda.

With a Commissioner for Children in the next mandate of the European Commission 2019-2024, the EU could prioritize tackling the many challenges faced by children within the EU and in its external action in other countries outside the EU.

One in four children are at risk of poverty in the EU. Social protection systems are often too weak to support families and children in need and many children are left behind due to discrimination and social exclusion.

The petition also includes a job description of what the potential position of a Commissioner for Children would require.

As a next step in the process of assigning Commissioners, each nominee will have to appear before the European Parliament to answer questions on their vision and goals. The European Parliament then votes on whether to accept the nominees. Finally, they are appointed by the European Council.

Over the next five years, these European Commissioners are responsible for proposing legislation and setting EU political and spending priorities. The current Commission's term ends at the end of October 2019.

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