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Parliamentary questions
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25 January 2019
Answer given by Ms Jourova on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005354/2018

The Commission adopted the Initiative on Work-Life Balance for Working Parents and Carers on 26 April 2017. The Initiative aims to modernise the current EU legal and policy framework, and one of its main aims is to encourage the increased involvement of fathers in caring for their children. In addition to the Work-life Balance Directive, the Initiative foresees in its communication a number of complementary, non-legislative actions, to increase female labour market participation and work-life balance for men and women.

The non-legislative actions include the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds to adequately support work-life balance measures, such as the provision of accessible, affordable and quality childcare services and facilities. Moreover, new pilot schemes will be funded under the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation, encouraging the development of innovative practices such as those mentioned by the Honourable Member, and thus promoting the inclusion of fathers in caring.

The importance of involvement of fathers in caring for children is also recognised in other EU measures. For instance, funding is available for Member States under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme for projects on work-life balance. Many of these projects include behavioural insights with regard to care by fathers and other actions to address this issue, including awareness campaigns, research, media campaigns, which would help to encourage a more equal share of care by fathers and mothers. From 2014 to 2017, in total EUR 7.8 million was spent on these calls; a new call is foreseen to be published in 2019.

Last updated: 28 January 2019Legal notice