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With the support of the Jean Monnet Programme of the European Union


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With the support of the Jean Monnet Programme of the European Union
The Members:

ARGE-Erziehungsberatung, Austria Dr. Martina Leibovici

Experiential Education Project, Belgium Professor Dr. Ferre Laevers

Flemish Institute for Family Sciences, Belgium Professor Dr. Hans van Crombrugge

Saharan & North African Toy and Play Cultures,

Belgium Dr. Jean-Pierre Rossie

Denmark Claes Solborg Pedersen

University of Jyväskylä, Finland Professor Emerita Dr. Lea Pulkkinen

Le Furet, France Marie-Nicole Rubio

European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants

(EFCNI) Silke Mader

Legambiente, Italy Vanessa Pallucchi

Stichting Universele Ontwikkeling (NL) Marijke Sluijter

Janusz Korczak International Society Theo Cappon

Center for Youth and Development, The Hague

University for Professional Education, The Hague

Roosevelt Academy, Middelburg (NL) Professor Dr. René Diekstra

NIVOZ (NL) Professor Dr. Luc Stevens / Gabrielle Taus

Beweeg.nl Elise Sijthoff

Verein mit Kindern Wachsen, Germany Lienhard Valentin

Sabine Heggemann

Fundación Botín, Spain Fátima Sánchez Santiago

International Association for Steiner / Waldorf

Early Childhood Education (Sweden) Clara Aerts

Familylab International, Switzerland Jesper Juul

The Educational Volunteers Foundation

of Turkey Nurdan Sahin

Universal Education Foundation, Brussels Daniel Kropf

European Council for Steiner

Waldorf Education, Brussels Christopher Clouder

ELIANT, Brussels Michaela Sieh

Secretariat of the Group, Brussels Michiel Matthes


Eligibility of members:

Organisations that work on the Quality of Childhood in one or more member states of the European Union with, ideally, the following characteristics:


Members must be invited to join. The Alliance for Childhood European Network Group has chosen to be part of the international initiative taken in Forest Row (UK) in June 1998 to set up an international network called the ‘Alliance for Childhood’. Contact details of other Alliance for Childhood network groups:



  • in the United Kingdom: www.allianceforchildhood.org.uk

  • in the USA: www.allianceforchildhood.com

  • in Brazil: www.aliancapelainfancia.org.br


The Focus of the Work

The theme of the work is: to improve the Quality of Childhood in the European Union and in the European Educational Space.


The Mission, as formulated on 4 October 2006:

The participants at the meeting declare that they share a deep concern about the quality of childhood in the member states. For this reason, they have come together and have decided to start to work in concert to improve the ‘Quality of Childhood’ in the member states of the European Union and beyond.


The participants believe that a poor quality of childhood is harmful for children. When society as a whole improves this quality, it will be beneficial for the children and adolescents in question and for the societies in which they grow up.

Furthermore, the participants believe that a good quality childhood is based on the following principles and attitudes:



  • The child is respected as a fellow human being with his or her own aspirations to develop his/her inner potential.

  • The quality of the relationships of the child with important adults and others is a key element of the quality of his/her childhood and for his/her growth as a human being.


The Work Method:

The Alliance for Childhood European Network Group is a network group of public advocacy groups in the member states of the European Union that work on the Quality of Childhood in their own countries or group of countries/ specific areas. Governmental or semi-governmental organisations that work in the same spirit can also be invited to join.


The activities of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group are complimentary to the activities of the various members. The following concrete activities can be distinguished:

  • The members brief each other on how they perceive the situation with regard to the Quality of Childhood in their areas of activity.

  • The members brief each other on their concrete activities, strategies, networks in which they function, etc..

  • Because the members have a continuous dialogue with each other, a consensus on certain topics may gradually emerge; the result of this is as follows:

    • It will reassure the individual members that they have made the right analysis and will give them the assurance that they are on the right track. This in turn will give all the members more self confidence to pursue their activities.

    • Having gone through this process with a group of leading experts in the European Union, a consensus will emerge and this in turn will emanate to other stakeholders, the media and the political parties.

    • All the members will start to act differently and more effectively because of the new insights acquired in the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group. As a result, all the members will start to positively influence the existing networks in which they are active in their own countries / group of countries.

  • In short: the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group maintains a knowledge system with respect to the Quality of Childhood in the European Union.

The end result of this will be that the Quality of Childhood in the member states of the European Union will gradually improve.


Working Group on the Quality of Childhood at the European Parliament

MEP Karin Resetarits (Austria, Alde Party), together with Christopher Clouder, set up the Working Group on the Quality of Childhood at the European Parliament. At this moment the following Members of the European Parliament take part in the Working Group.




Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

MEP Evelyn Regner (Austria)

MEP Karin Kadenbach (Austria)



MEP Judith Merkies (The Netherlands)

MEP Corina Cretu (Romania)



Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)

MEP Lívia Járóka (Hungary)

Group of the Greens

MEP Gerald Häfner (Germany)

Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

MEP Edward McMillan-Scott (UK)

The Alliance for Childhood European Network Group is helpful to the Members of Parliament to develop the agenda for the Working Group’s sessions and to draft the reports of these meetings.


The sessions held / to be held by the Working Group on the Quality of Childhood at the European Parliament in the period 2006-2013 and the meetings of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group:
Note: the sessions of the Working Group on the Quality of Childhood are numbered, the meetings of the Alliance for Childhood are not numbered.


4 October 2006

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels

5 December 2006

1. ‘The Toxic Childhood Syndrome and the Quality of Childhood’ with Christopher Clouder (UK) and Professor Hans van Crombrugge (Belgium). Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

9 January 2007

2. ‘Really Improving the Education in the European Union requires Systemic Changes’ with professor Luc Stevens (Netherlands) and Professor Ferre Laevers (Belgium). Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

10 January 2007

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels

6 March 2007

3. ‘The Quality of Child-Adult Relationships in Families and School’ with Jesper Juul (Denmark). Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

15 May 2007

4. ‘The Child: his/her Networks and Neighbourhood’ with René Diekstra. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

16 May 2007

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels

20 September

2007


5. ‘How can we improve in the European Union the Early Childhood Educational Systems’ with John Bennett, the author of the OECD Study Starting Strong. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

6 November

2007


6. ‘How to let children and adolescents acquire key competences for the world of the 21st century? with Dr. Martina Leibovici-Mühlberger from Austria and Geseke Lundgren from Sweden. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits

7 November 2007

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels

8 January,

2008


7. ‘Attachment, what it is, why it is important and what we can do about it to help young children acquire a secure attachment? with Sir Richard Bowlby. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

9 January 2008

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

4 March 2008

8. ‘A vision on children and childhood in the European Union’ by MM . Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

14 May, 2008

9. Professor René Diekstra about ‘The Changing Face of Adolescence. Accounting for changes in adolescent development and their effects on education and social policies’. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

14 May 2008

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

1 July, 2008

10. Professor Steen Hildebrandt (University of Aarhus, Denmark) about the ‘Multiple intelligences in the knowledge-based society’. Host: MEP Rovana Plumb.

16 September, 2008

11. Presentation of the report of the Fundación Marcelino Botín entitled ‘Social and Emotional Education, An International Analysis’ by Christopher Clouder and Fátima Sánchez Santiago. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

11 November 2008

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

12 November 2008

12. Professor Boris Cyrulnik from France: what measures can we take to improve the quality of childhood in the European Union? Host: MEP Rovana Plumb.

17November 2008

13. Organisation of a Symposium in Bucharest, Romania at the request of MEP Mrs Rovana Plumb: ‘A European Policy Agenda for the Quality of Childhood with special emphasis on the case of the children of Romanian migrant workers’.

27 January, 2009

14. Professor Michel Vandenbroeck (University of Ghent, Belgium) about Diversity and Equity in Early Childhood Services. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

28 January 2009

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

3 March, 2009

15. ‘Taking stock of what has been achieved with the Working Group since December 2006 and looking forward’ with MM , Secretary-General of the Alliance for Childhood European Network. Host: MEP Karin Resetarits.

28 April, 2009

16. Professor Peter Moss (University of London) about young children and their services: developing a European approach. Host: MEP Rovana Plumb.

10 July 2010

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Rome, as a guest of Legambiente.

8 September 2009

17. Continuing to work on improving the Quality of Childhood in the European Union during the present economic downturn with Professor Emeritus Richard Wilkinson, co-author of the book ‘The Spirit Level, Why More Equal Societies Almost Always do Better’. Host: MEP Rovana Plumb.

17 November 2009

18. The Technical University of Dortmund won the tender issued by the European Commission to execute a Research Project to identify the key research questions regarding families and family policies. The leader of this project, Professor Dr. Uwe Uhlendorff gave a briefing on this Project and spoke about ‘Developing a European Research Agenda for Families and Family Policies’. Host: MEP Lívia Járóka.

8 December 2009

19. Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain, and the policy requirements in this respect with Sue Gerhardt, author of the book with the similar title. Host: MEP Evelyn Regner.

9 December 2009

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

12 January 2010

20. The PISA Study and lessons learned regarding the Quality of Childhood with Andreas Schleicher, Head of the Indicators and Analysis Division of the OECD Directorate for Education. Host: MEP Evelyn Regner.

1 and 2 March, 2010

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

2 March, 2010

21. ‘Improving the Quality of Childhood in the European Union: the Case of Roma Children' with Ivan Ivanov, Executive Director of the European Roma Information Office (ERIO) and Bernard Rorke, Director of the Roma Initiative Programs of the Open Society Institute (OSI). Host: MEP Gerald Häfner.

13 April, 2010

22. Improving the Quality of Childhood in the European Union: the Aspect of Parental Leave Policies by Professor Peter Moss of the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Host: MEP Gerald Häfner.

8 June, 2010

23. ‘The City for the Children’. Key-note speaker: Vanessa Pallucchi, Director for Education of Legambiente, Rome, Italy. Host: MEP Vittorio Prodi and MEP Karin Kadenbach.

8 June 2010

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

31 August, 2010

24. 'The impact of television and screen media on the Quality of Childhood and what are good policies in this respect on the level of the family, on the level of the country and on the EU level?' with Dr. Aric Sigman, author of the book 'Remotely controlled, how television is damaging our lives'. Host: MEP Karin Kadenbach.

16 November 2010

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

17 November 2010

25. ‘The proposed research agenda for the European Commission re families and family policies' with Professor Dr. Uwe Uhlendorff of the Technical University Dortmund, Germany. Host: MEP Mr Gerald Häfner

11 January 2011

26. 'The Quality of the Physical Environment of the Child, the Current Problems in this area, and what needs to be done?' together with the Health and Environment Alliance and the INCHES Network. Host: MEP Gerald Häfner.

28 February 2011

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

1 March, 2011

27. 'Educating the Art of Life: Resilience and Creativity in Contemporary Education' with David Brierley, Associate Professor at the Rudolf Steiner University College, Oslo Norway. Host: MEP Evelyn Regner.

29 March, 2011

28. 'A reflection on the European Commission's High Level Group on Literacy' with emeritus Professor Margaret Clark from the UK. Host: MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij.

31 May, 2011

29. 'Learning to move and moving to learn. Why physical development in the early years supports later learning, behaviour and achievement' with Sally Goddard Blythe, Director of The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in the UK. Hosted by MEP Edward McMillan-Scott.

6 September 2011

30. Presentation of the report 'Learning for Well-being: a Policy Priority for Children and Youth in Europe, A Movement for Change' by Professor Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies in Geneva. Host: MEP Karin Kadenbach.

7 and 8 November 2011

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

8 November, 2011

31. Alcohol Nation, How to protect our children from today's drinking culture' with Dr. Aric Sigman. Host: MEP Gerald Häfner.

10 January, 2012

32. Presentation of a Proposal to set up a European Academy for Complementary Pedagogy by Jesper Juul. Host: MEP Judith Merkies.

5 and 6 March 2012

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

6 March, 2012

33. ' What Contribution can the Digital Environment make to the Improvement of the Quality of Childhood? with Professor Martine Delfos from the Netherlands and Thibaut Kleiner of the Cabinet of Euro-commissioner Neelie Kroes. Host: MEP Evelyn Regner.

11 April, 2012

34. 'Improving the Quality of Childhood as a challenge to European institutions: Reflections from the Ombudsmen for Children' with Maria Kaisa Aula, the Finnish Ombudsman for Children. Host: MEP Liisa Jaakonsaari.

4 and 5 June 2012

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

5 June 2012

35. The State of Affairs of the Child in the City, and What Needs To Be Done? with Dr. Jan van Gils, President and founder of the European Network of Child Friendly Cities and President of the International Council for Children’s Play. Host: MEP Karin Kadenbach

4 September 2012

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.




4 September 2012

36. '500,000 Preterm Births in Europe Each Year. What are the Dangers, and What are the Main Components of a Successful Strategy to Address this Challenge?' with Professor Luc Zimmermann (Belgium / Netherlands), Professor Dominique Haumont (Belgium) and Silke Mader (Germany), all working with the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI). Host: MEP Peter Liese.

12 and 13 November 2012

Meeting of the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group in Brussels.

13 November 2012

37. 'How can we help children to reach their unique potential and how can we support the parents, caregivers and teachers in their role vis-à-vis children'. with Dr. Gordon Neufeld (Vancouver, Canada). Host: MEP Gerald Häfner

The ultimate aim of this Working Group is for the European Institutions to adopt the approaches that were developed in the Working Group on the Quality of Childhood.


Three yearbooks were published with the reports of these sessions:

  • session 1-16: Improving the Quality of Childhood in the European Union: Current Perspectives. The book can be downloaded from http://www.allianceforchildhood.eu/book-improving-the-quality-of-childhood-in-the-european-union-current-perspectives-2010

  • session 17-23: Improving the Quality of Childhood in Europe 2011, Volume 2.

  • session 24-30: Improving the Quality of Childhood in Europe 2012, Volume 3.
    Volume 2 and 3 can be downloaded from: http://www.ecswe.org/publications.php

They can be ordered for €10 each, excluding postage, from Patrice Sullivan Patrice@ecswe.org or Chiara Carones ecswe2@gmail.com.
Secretariat and Contact Details:

Mr Michiel Matthes

Secretary-General

Konkelstraat 214 Box 7

1200 Brussels, Belgium, Tel: +32.2.7622557

E-mail: michiel.matthes@scarlet.be



Internet: www.allianceforchildhood.eu





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