Bishops Seek a Family-Friendly Europe

BRUSSELS, Belgium, MARCH 16, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community has encouraged the European Union to make families a priority.

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The COMECE Secretariat published detailed proposals today for an EU Family Strategy designed to make the enlarged Union «the most family-friendly region of the world by 2010.»

The strategy would «complement the existing Lisbon Strategy on economic growth and social reform,» COMECE said in a statement.

«Family policy is and should remain the primary responsibility of member states,» of the Europe Union, the COMECE secretariat added.

The COMECE strategy contains detailed proposals to promote:

— the integration of elderly people within society — primarily through helping their families to help them.

— fairer children-friendly regulations and policies.

— fairer regulations and policies on marriage and parenting.

— closer links between generations.

— public support for families in particular need.

— family associations and a better representation of families in public life.

«Promoting the family will ultimately make EU citizens happier, produce greater social cohesion, have a positive effect on public health, and may in the process contribute to reversing the decline in the EU birthrate,» the COMECE statement concludes.

The proposed strategy can be downloaded at www.comece.org/upload/pdf/secr_family_040316_en.pdf.

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