The COFACE members met in-person in Madrid to discuss the diverse needs of families across Europe and possible actions and solutions. On the first day we had the Council of administration meeting with updates on the membership, the communication strategy, the energy poverty policy brief and the actions around EU elections in 2024.
Policy and support systems need more than ever to be inclusive, flexible, connected, and complementary to ensure that families can be resilient to internal and external shocks. On 17 October we all active engaged in a European expert meeting on family diversity co-organised by COFACE Families Europe and UNAF Spain. We aimed to foster cross-country exchanges, spot gaps in policies, and envision adaptations for more inclusive social protection systems. We started with a spotlight on policies and services to support families in Spain. Learned about family diversity protection policies in Spain and key developments. The panel ended with an open conversation with Spanish family organisations. Later we continued with presentations and discussions about the wider European context – with an overview of the rights for families of today. We spoke about social / family rights in the EU - Work-life balance Directive, EU parenthood recognition proposal and the state of play on family policies in Europe with a spotlight on five countries.
On the last day we peeked into the heart of COFACE's creativity and commitment to cross-country knowledge exchange by using Design Thinking in an interactive space at our family diversity conference. This facilitated true empathy and empowered the participants to simplify complex problems and embrace diverse perspectives in a collaborative workshop environment.