International Cooperation

The “Family-Friendliest Municipality” initiative receives international praise

The European Large Families Confederation gathering (www.zjazd.3plus.pl/en) took place in Szczecin, Poland this year from June 1 to June 3. The event was organized by the Polish National Association of Large Families Tzry Plus and the European Large Families Confederation (ELFC).  The gathering brought together large families and their representatives from 10 European countries. A meeting was held between the representatives of large family organisations, where they could get acquainted with the support mechanisms and experiences of large family support organisations in different countries, and a decision was made on further international cooperation between large family organisations.

As part of the gathering, the 9th European large family conference “Supporting the Family at the Macro and Micro-Economic Level. From European Policy to Local Government Activities” took place during which experts reported on family policy contribution, pension reforms for the benefit of families and the latest trends in childcare provision for children aged 0-3. An agreement was signed between the ELFC and the Italian municipality of Trentino to create a network of family-friendly municipalities – a new initiative to promote European municipality policies for families. ELFC awards were also presented to the representatives of five countries for their investment in support of families. The main prize in the national government initiative category went to Latvia for the initiative “Family-friendly Municipality”, initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, thus highly appreciating the work done by the Latvian government in creating a more family-friendly country. The prize to the Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development Kaspars Gerhards was presented by Halina Szymańska, Head of the Chancery of the President of the Republic of Poland. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki assured all participants that a strong family is the foundation of a strong society and that it is a top priority for the Polish government.

During the gathering a large families’ walk  through the Szczecin streets, a vast cultural, entertainment and tour program was provided, along with concerts, singing, dancing and a variety of interest-based workshops. The main goal of the gathering of large families was to get them to know each other, to support the efforts in promoting family-oriented state policies and environment, promote a positive large family image and to provide the families with the opportunity to have a good and interesting time together.

The representation of Latvian families was the largest of all foreign delegations. The 43 families of Latvia were represented by 151 participants. This was made possible thanks to the project “Large families – supporters in the creation of family-friendly environment in Europe and Latvia” which was organised by the Latvian Large Families’ Association and supported by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and State Regional Development Agency.

Presentations:
• Latvia’s Experience on the Road to family-friendliest municipalities (presentation by Raivis Bremsmits, Director of Regional Policy Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development).
• Italian Experience on family-friendliest municipalities’ Initiative (presentation by Luciano Malfer, Director-General of the Trentino Family Agency).
• Creation of family-friendliest municipalities’ network in Europe (presentation by Regina Maroncelli, President of the European Large Families Confederation).

 

Leonīds Mucenieks,
Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Large Families’ Association