making sure that no child is left behind

The austerity measures implemented in many crisis countries in Europe are now being questioned by a wide range of economists. The one-sided policy of austerity has deepened the effects of the crisis, and many people now live on the brink of poverty. Many of them are children.

In our manifesto for the upcoming elections, YES has included a proposal for a European Commissioner for children’s and youth policy. The EU needs to focus on preserving the rights of children and the participation of youth. And the time to act is now. Almost 30% of children within the EU are at risk of poverty in 2011. When it comes to children with parents with low education the numbers are closer to 50%. For the children with at least one parent who was born outside of the EU, the risk of poverty is even higher.

Furthermore, the EU must in a much better way make sure that children’s voices are heard within the political debate. We need to have clear methods on how we can make children a part of the political debate. This is not only a question of democracy but also a change that I believe will make us take better political decisions in the future.

When the focus in the EU is now changing from damage control to job creation, we need to make sure that the rights of children are not lost on the way. The passive right-wing policies that have dominated the EU with their focus on austerity and market solutions has to come to an end. We have gone down that road for far too long, and we need a change.

Our focus needs to be on restoring hope for the coming generations and making sure that no child is left behind.

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