Progress across Europe in the implementation of the 2013 EU Recommendation on "Investing in children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage"
A study of national policies - Study
This Synthesis Report examines the extent to which 35 European countries (28 Member States and seven other countries) have strengthened or further developed their policies/ approaches and programmes for children since 2013 in ways that are consistent with the EU Recommendation on Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage. The overall finding of the ESPN analysis is that the modest progress made in the direction outlined in the Recommendation is insufficient to the scale of the problem in many countries. Four countries in particular (EE, FR, IE, MT) have taken initiatives to... strengthen their policies/approaches and programmes in a significant number of areas. Another eight countries (BG, IS, LT, LV, NL, PT, SI, SK) have also made improvements that are in line with the Recommendation in several areas. The countries that already had strong policies and programmes and low levels of child poverty or social exclusion have largely maintained these. However, it is clear that very limited progress has been made in most areas in too many of the countries with high or very high levels of child poverty or social exclusion (CY, EL, ES, HR, HU, IT, MK, RO, RS, TR, UK) and indeed some of these have actually weakened their approach in several areas. This is particularly concerning given the persistently high levels of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU (26.9% in 2015) and the very wide divergence between countries: 10 countries studied have low proportions (14-20%) of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE) whereas, at the other end of the scale, seven have very high proportions (36-58%).