Balancing Family Life and Work

To prepare for the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014, several pro-family organizations have organized a meeting at the European Parliament on May 15th entitled “Balancing Family Life and Work” in order to raise awareness of the anniversary in the European Union.

Among the organizations and entities involved  are the International Federation for Family Development, Make Mothers Matter International, World Youth Alliance, Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe, European Federation of Parents and Carers at Home, New Women for Europe, Forum Européen des Femmes, European Federation of Parents and Carers at Home, European Large Families Confederation, European local inclusion and social action network (ELISAN), and CARE for Europe (Veneto Region).

The meeting will be hosted by the Working Group on Family, the Rights of the Child and Solidarity between generations. Participating at the event will Laszlo Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and Philippe de Woot, Professor Emeritus at the Université Catholique de Louvain.

“The 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family offers an opportunity to refocus on the role of families, take stock of recent trends and share good practices in the field of family policies, review challenges faced by families worldwide and recommend solutions,“ the organizers of the event said.

“The event will focus on work-family balance that is one of the three main themes of the 20th Anniversary; besides confronting family poverty and social exclusion, and advancing intergenerational solidarity.”

The first panel on the ‘Rush hour of life and the life cycle approach’ will explore practices that proved to be effective in promoting a better work-life balance for families. With reference to these good practices, the speakers of the second panel will provide their expert opinion on how the different stakeholders (employers, employees, civil society) can work together to enhance these practices.

The conference shall also provide an opportunity to explore the possibility of creating a European family-friendly label as an initiative of the European civil society. The language of the conference will be English.

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Here is the complete program of the “Balancing Life and Work” Conference

13.00 – 13.10

Welcome address

Working Group on Family, the Rights of the Child and Solidarity between Generations in the European Parliament

13.10 – 13.50

The “rush hour” of life and the life cycle approach – best practices at work

Moderator: Ines Mortreuil (HR-Strategy Consultant)

  – Work-life balance policies and examples in the Veneto Region (Italy)

    Barbara Trentin, Head of cabinet of the Regional Minister of social Affairs

  – – providing online support for families (Germany)

    Steffen Zoller, founder

  – Company initiatives for workers with care responsibilities for disabled children or adults (Eurofound)

    Robert Anderson, Head of the Unit Living Conditions and Quality of Life

  – Fédération des particuliers employeurs (France)

    Marie Béatrice Levaux President

13.50 – 14.05



Various perspectives on the implementation of best practices

Moderator: Pierluigi Brombo (European Economic ans Social Committee)

  – Employee representative

    Ellen Nygren, ETUC Advisor

  – Employer representative

    Isabelle Sonneville, Human Resources Director, AXA Belgium

  – Policy / decision maker

    Silvia Costa, Vice-President of the Working Group on Family in the European Parliament

  – European Economic and Social Committee representative

    Luca Jahier, President of the Various Interest Group of the European Economic and Social Committee

14.45 – 15.00


15.00 – 15.15

Towards the empowerment of families in the United Nations Framework

Video message from the representative of the United Nations Focal Point of the Family and address by a representative of the civil society

Ignacio Socias (International Federation for Family Development)

15.15 – 15.45

Exchange of views with Commissioner László Andor

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

15.45. – 16.00

Concluding remarks: Corporate Social Responsibility and Families

Philippe de Woot (Emeritus Professor, Université Catholique de Louvain)

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On the NET:

For more information on the meeting, go to