The challenges of the European child guarantee at regional and local level

Contracting Party: The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) (under the Framework Contract No. CDR/TL2/59/2017/1)
Period: 2021
URL: The challenges of the European child guarantee at regional and local level

This study, co-authored with Progress Consulting S.r.l., focuses on giving evidence to the primary role local and regional authorities (LRAs) play in identifying and assisting children in need to ensure their social inclusion as underlined by the 2021 European Child Guarantee and the EU strategy on the rights of the child. Responsibilities vary across countries but in almost all EU Member States both local and regional authorities are key in providing education, health, housing and social services (including healthy food) to homeless children; children with a migrant background, or minority ethnic origin; children experiencing severe deprivation, social exclusion, disabilities or mental health issues; children in alternative care; and children in precarious family situations which may endanger their safety. In addition, many cities and regions make provisions for their children in need to have access to leisure, sports and cultural activities. In some activities, LRAs are not only involved in the delivery of these services but also in their planning and financing with their own or other public/private resources. On the basis of a sample of initiatives and case studies which are described as representative of how LRAs have so far delivered basic services and assistance in support to children in need, the study gives evidence to the challenges LRAs face when doing so, which are even more exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A list of policy recommendations addressed to all EU Member States stemming from the analysis of these challenges closes the study with the aim of further raising their awareness about the importance to involve LRAs in their daily fight against the cycle of poverty.