On 5 November the Secretariat of COMECE (Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community) will present a further contribution for a family strategy on the EU level. The document 'Proposal for a Strategy of the European Union for the Support of Couples and Marriage' draws attention to challenges for families in Europe. It suggests political initiatives (labour law, tax policy, housing policy, etc.) through which European institutions can support families. Stable couples and families are sources of mutual trust, the bishops say. They encourage taking responsibility and openness for the other and thus constitute an important social capital for Europe. In view of the current demographic evolution and the increasing rate of divorce, it is necessary to offer also an increased attention to family-related issues on the European level. An important initiative in this respect was the launching of a 'European Alliance for Families' under German EU-Presidency in May 2007. The Secretariat of COMECE wishes to contribute to the debate on the basis of this new document. It outlines the areas in which the EU institutions, within their respective spheres of competence, can contribute more to stable couples and families. In March 2004 the COMECE Secretariat published first proposals for an EU family strategy. The present document focuses on the various daily difficulties of couples and on the required conditions to allow parents to assume their role better (protection of children and youth, integration, fight against poverty, etc.). The document is available at: www.comece.org.
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