EuroCohort: Growing Up in Europe launch event

EuroCohort: Growing Up in Europe launch eventPhoto by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

At the end of November the launch event of EuroCohort: Growing Up in Europe took place in Brussels. Delegates, including scientists, policy makers and representatives from NGOs came from across Europe to hear about how EuroCohort will benefit children through providing important data to support government policies.

The conference started with two keynote speeches. Firstly, Dominic Richardson (Chief, Social Policy and Economic Analysis UNICEF) spoke passionately about why EuroCohort is needed to support better policy making. This was followed by, Jana Hainsworth (Secretary General Eurochild) who identified crucial shortcomings in the provision of services for young people.  She made a strong case for more and better public investment in children in Europe. The event continued with presentations by project participants introducing the results of foresight exercise (available here) and survey content followed by a panel and time for questions. The closing speech was given by Dominik Sobczak (ESFRI Executive Secretary, European Commission) who highlighted that the EU have been looking to support the development of a longitudinal survey of child well-being for around 10 years.     

The event was brought alive by children and young people through  several videos on different themes that were made by young people themselves as part of the project,  using the Community Reporter approach. These and also other videos are available here.

Gary Pollock, the EuroCohort Project Coordinator ended the event by acknowledging that there was a consensus across Europe that the kind of data that EuroCohort will collect was essential in helping policy makers know how children need to be supported as they grow up. Given the hundreds of billions of Euros spent across Europe on child and family policies, investing in EuroCohort is a cost effective way of ensuring that this money is well spent. As the project moves towards the preparation phases, a priority is to broaden the network and to get more countries to give explicit government support to ensure that we can maximise the coverage of EuroCohort in as many European countries as possible.