Healthy families are the basis for thriving societies. We believe that stable, loving relationships between parents are crucial for the wellbeing of their children. ECPM recognizes the family as the most important social entity, preceding the state and any other community or group. ECPM calls on the European Union to respect the sovereignty of the family, based on marriage between one man and one woman. ECPM is also weary of the political focus on the ‘autonomous individual’. We believe that the quality of life of a human being depends on the quality of his relations with others and the strongest and earliest connection in life is the family.
The family is a micro-society where elementary skills and experiences are being conveyed. ECPM promotes policies which will increase the capability of individuals to create and live in lifelong devoted relationships – in marriage and family. Today more and more families are in crisis. We value counselling and are standing firm for the rights of children in case relationships are ending.
Family policy is foremost a matter of national policy. Based on the principles of subsidiarity the European institutions should not interfere in family policies. However, many topics where the EU does have the power to make legislation are related to family policy, as for example labour laws. On a national level, ECPM promotes policies supporting parenthood and creating conditions that are conducive to child-raising. We do firmly believe that the policies fostering reconciliation between qualifications, labour market participation and family life affect economic growth positively in the long run. We believe that societies that are rooted in strong families are more relational, compassionate and sustainable.
Men and women should have the choice between childcare services and working fewer hours to take care of their children, especially if it concerns children with disabilities. Investing in children is investing in the future and in society. Parents should not be financially punished for taking responsibility to raise their children. The right conditions are especially important for single parents. Thus, flexibility and space for part-time jobs, enough maternity and parental leave and childcare opportunities within companies are essential. ECPM also supports programs which will decrease addictions and violence among youth and all other factors which disable them to realise stabile and happy family life.
In family policy, it is important to touch upon the future of lower educated labour force in Europe. More and more jobs for people with lower education are replaced by computerization and automatization of production/business processes based on artificial intelligence. Even though tourism as a sector is increasing Europe wide and is a prime sector for offering jobs for people with lower education, it cannot be denied that there is a threat of increasing long-term unemployment, in especially this vulnerable group of the population. Long-term sustainable solutions for this unemployment problem require careful thought and planning. Based on its Christian principles, ECPM strongly advocates policies for an inclusive Europe, which should offer support to member states and individual regions on policies to avoid people losing contact with available job opportunities. Through building an innovative economy we would avoid migration out of poverty or necessity from Central/Eastern Europe to Western Europe, which has a large and negative impact on the parts of the families that are left behind.