12/11/2017

Statement on Vaccination

Published for the Vaccine Hesitancy Seminar on 11 December 2017 in Brussels

Parents are the ones responsible for upbringing their children, thus also for their health and a safe environment for them (UNCRC Article 5). Parents’ rights emerging from this responsibility have to be respected, so any decision should be theirs, no state obligations should contradict this approach or prevent them from responsible decisions.

To come to the right decision, parents need objective information and support (UNCRC Article 18). Reluctant or anti-vaccination parents often act out of a position of lack of information and misunderstanding. Therefore governments are responsible for supplying such concepts and activities for a better understanding, avoiding bias towards pro or anti opinions, and offering clear and simple explanations on public and private benefits as well as risks.

All these efforts must not be biased by pharmaceutical industries or any other organisations or institutions with primarily economic interest.

All parents love their children and have great aspirations for them. If you can manage to provide clear and comprehensive information with reasonable arguments, most parents will follow your recommendations for the sake of their children, while others will take their own responsible pathways.

Anti-vaccination movements are not to be tackled by oppressive measures, but authorities have a responsibility in reviewing individual cases if necessary and seek the decision of independent courts in case parents appear to be unable to fulfil their duties in bringing up their children. Parents must possess the right to decision as long as an independent court has not restricted their guardian duties.

Problems arising from a shrinking percentage of vaccinated children should be tackled by analysing the reasons, offering a balanced approach to pros and cons, ensuring media coverage and individual support to parents in their decision making, but not by introducing compulsory vaccination against the parents’ will.                                 

Who we are:
EPA has been the only EU-level representative of parents as stakeholders in and responsible for ensuring the best interest of their children since 1985. As an umbrella organsation of national parents associations we cover 30 European countries and bring the voice of about 150 million parents to the EU and raise this voice on all issues concerning the lives of parents and children according to our statutes. We always pursue a rights-based approach, one that requires empowerment and involves responsible decision making by parents taking the children’s voice into consideration and the best interest of children as a basis, thus not ones based on restrictive measures.

11/29/2017

Suitable Pathways – conference report

Role of Parents in Guiding their Children towards the Most Suitable Personal Careers


The European Parents’ Association held its annual conference on 24/25 November 2017 in the Tallinn School of Service under the auspices of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union and as part of the second European Vocational Skills Week on career guidance and suitable individual learning pathways for today’s children, with special focus on counterbalancing the bias towards university education (by the media, education policy and consequently very often by parents, too). The representatives of parents’ associations and students, VET providers, career guidance services and school heads participating at the conference looked at ways of home-school cooperation in career guidance, transversal skills for well-being, future life success and lifelong learning with special focus on entrepreneurship, and the role of parents and parents’ associations to improve the image of vocational secondary education and non-university tertiary education to help people understand that for most people it has always been and will always be a first and best choice. Bellow you will find a detailed report of the conference with download links for presentations and related documents.

11/28/2017

Highlights of the Lifelong Learning Week 2017

The 7th Lifelong Learning Week (LLL Week) took place in parallel and in collaboration with the 2nd European Vocational Skills Week (VET Week), 20-24th November 2017. This year the topic of the week was the topic of the year for Lifelong Learning Platform, EPA is an active member of: Education in a Digital World. Three subtopics were covered by the events as well as this year’s LLL Award: democracy, inclusion and innovative pedagogies. Thanks to the generous offer of the European Commission to host one representative of all EPA members on the occasion of the VET Week, the events could be held in the presence of the 5 EPA members that accepted the invitation.

11/23/2017

EPA’s endorsement of the New Education Forum’s Smart Education Indicators

The Centre for Innovative Education invited EPA to participate at this year's New Education Forum. Janko Korosec and Claudio Masotti, EPA's Vice Presidents participated at their regional events during the year. The New Education Forum published  Smart Education Indicators closely linked with the UNESCO Smart Cities initiatinve at its closing event in the European Parliament on 22/23 November 2017. Before publication they asked EPA for an endorsement of the indicators that you can read below.

11/20/2017

Parents are there to help #KidsTakeOver on Universal Children's Day

Today marks Universal Children’s Day, the anniversary of the UN adopting the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). So far all countries in the world except the USA have joined the Convention, showing political will to protect children and their rights.

The European Union, not a signatory of the Convention (yet), but having Member States that have all committed themselves to align their policies with the Rights of the Child, is facing its greatest challenges in decades. At the same time the current European Commission has recently announced measures that affect the lives of children in Europe – directly or by influencing the lives of their parents and the institutional framework around them.

The announcement to build the Pillar of European Social Rights was welcomed by all, including parents all over Europe. The EU Summit in Gothenburg last week has proclaimed the construction of the Pillar, a major demonstration of political will. The Summit also marked the publication of a new EU initiative on creating a European Education Area by 2025.

11/19/2017

Role of NGO’s in the Holocaust Remembrance activities

Personal reflexions of Herminio Correa, EPA Ambassador

After many years of studying, reading, and listening to testimonies and watching movies and documentaries about the Holocaust, it was finally time to make a visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau.

A hard, cold and unforgettable experience, that have aroused in me an emotional roller coaster and left in the air a question: How could this happen?

Yes, why so many men and women, ordinary people just like us, suddenly became terrible predators and cold killers?

11/15/2017

The Post-2020 MFF Must Invest In Children And Aim To End Child Poverty

This week the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the EU will sign the inter-institutional proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Gothenburg,(1) which reiterates commitments to promote social inclusion and the rights of the child.(2) The future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) should contribute to translate these commitments into action.

More than 20 organisations within the EU Alliance for Investing in Children urge the EU institutions and its Member States to invest in children and develop a future MFF that works to end child poverty and promotes the social inclusion of all children in Europe.