February 2, 2009
Just days after the PES pressed the alarm button about Czech Presidency threats to EU childcare targets, socialists from all over Europe have shown that they care deeply for child care.
Anna Diamantopoulou, Greek Socialist spokesperson on Education and former European Commissioner for Social Affairs, said “There can be no discussion on childcare targets, other than on the issue of extending them further for society’s benefit. Conservatives might try to undermine them but we must not allow them to succeed.”
“Childcare targets are a crucial step towards equal opportunities, fairness, redistribution, and equality” said Diamantopoulou. “They are about improving the lives of children and their parents. Any attempt to diminish them, too expensive, too ineffective, or under any other pretext, is an affront to families and children.”
Jan O’Sullivan, Irish Labour Party Spokesperson on Health and Children said “Any threat to a progressive childcare policy, either at national level or at European level, such as that posed by the Czech Presidency, must be resisted. Rather than scrapping targets, the EU should be providing support to those countries who, for whatever reason, may find the targets particularly challenging.”
The Belgian Socialist Party also announced that it would strongly oppose anything which reduced member state efforts to improve childcare. The PS underlined the importance of childcare for the development of children as well as the life/work balance of parents. The PS want not only to maintain the existing targets but develop a European strategy for better family policies.
The Irish Labour Party said that “We believe in the principle of providing childcare facilities established and run directly by the state, or other non-profit entities, and that the pre-school childcare should be state-subsidised.”