Policy | Families and Societies in Europe

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-15-52-07One Family acts as a stakeholder within the Families and Societies project which aims to investigate the diversity of family forms and relationships in Europe, to assess the compatibility of existing policies with family changes, and to contribute to evidence-based policy-making. The final conference of the project was held last month in Brussels. It aimed to provide an overview of the main achievements of the project since it began in February 2013. Representatives of the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, and forty stakeholder organisations attended. Rea Lavelle, our Social Policy Analyst, attended for One Family.

The topic of children’s life chances was addressed by Juho Härkönen, Fabrizio Bernardi and Gerda Neyer, who discussed the impact of changing family dynamics, especially with regard to parental separation, on children’s present and future well-being. Kees Waaldijk, leading researcher of the Laws and Families Database, made a presentation of the database which will be completed in December 2016, and which will include information on legal aspects of co-residential partnerships for families across Europe. The last topic, gender changes and implications, was addressed by Jan Van Bavel and Melinda Mills who talked about the interplay of gender role changes and new family patterns, and of trends and policy implications regarding childlessness and assisted reproductive technologies, respectively.

Stakeholders are an integral part of the project; providing a link between the research outputs and how they can be translated into family policies across Europe. At One Family, we use our knowledge and expertise from over four decades working with families to highlight policy implications and to suggest appropriate and workable policy responses.