Action Plan “New Opportunities for Children in Germany” falls short of expectations

Logo der Europäischen Garantie für Kinder

Berlin, 05 July 2023 – The family organisations united in the AGF welcome the fact that Germany today adopted its National Action Plan for the implementation of the EU Child Guarantee, despite being one of the last EU states to do so. At the same time, the associations criticise the lack of a comprehensive and future-oriented overall strategy that goes beyond the time horizon of a legislative period.

They demand new substantial impulses for the fight against poverty and the improvement of the social inclusion of disadvantaged children instead of a list of already existing measures or measures agreed upon in the coalition agreement.

“The National Action Plan reproduces the problems of the current ‘administration of poverty’ of families, which lacks a holistic view of child poverty. Instead of listing all the measures and projects that have anything even remotely to do with families and children side by side without comment, infrastructural and monetary measures have to be linked across the various (levels of) responsibility to form a comprehensive overall strategy. The perspective must go beyond one legislative period,” states Dr. Klaus Zeh, Chairman of the Association of German Family Organisations (AGF).

It is unsatisfactory for the family organisations that the draft of the National Action Plan only does justice to the character of a political action plan to a very limited extent. They also miss concrete indications for the development of a monitoring instrument to measure progress in the fight against poverty and the social inclusion of poor children and young people at risk of poverty. More operationalisable and measurable targets and instruments for measuring the success of political measures would definitely have to be added.

“The implementation of the European Children’s Guarantee must be an important impulse to develop an integrated strategy to combat child poverty and the social exclusion of children and young people at the risk of poverty. It remains to be hoped that in the further implementation process up to 2030, in a joint effort of all actors, the action plan ‘New Opportunities for Children’ can still provide a strong impetus for an innovative child poverty policy that integrates all ministries and federal levels,” emphasises Sven Iversen, Managing Director of the AGF.