March 20 2014 EU Ministers recognise tackling child poverty and social exclusion as political priority On 10 March, the social affairs ministers of EU member states met to discuss the EU’s social priorities for 2014. SOS Children’s Villages welcomes the ministers’ prioritisation of investment in children and young people, as EU member states seek to achieve inclusive growth. The decision is in line with a call launched before the meeting by SOS Children’s Villages in partnership with 20 other European networks – all partner organisations of the EU Alliance on Investing in Children. Although the European Union is slowly recovering from the economic crisis, the social situation in the EU is still not improving, and in some countries it is even worsening. Compared to previous years, the EU has paid more attention in 2014 to the social impact of the crisis in its broad economic policy priorities. However, child poverty is only marginally referred to, despite the worrying fact that 26.5 million children are growing up in child poverty in Europe. Social investments are crucial for all children, but in particular for children who are the most disadvantaged, such as those living in vulnerable families or in alternative care. Acting on child poverty and protecting the rights of children are not only moral imperatives. They will also have a vital impact on achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the European Union. It is encouraging to note that the social affairs ministers called on EU member states to invest in children and young people. However, implementation will require concrete action to confront child poverty and social exclusion.