The European Large Families Confederation was founded in 2004 in Lisbon as an entity uniting large families associations from different European countries. These associations are representing families from all of Europe, in which each of them has 3 or more children.
In the present context, when Europe is submerged in a so-called, “demographic winter” with 1.4 children per women, it’s way below the 2.1 needed to guarantee the replacement of generations. Many factors are contributing to the decline in fertility with European social model on top. Sometimes, even without being aware, it’s penalizing or discriminating a family that has more children. That’s why the principal task of the large families association is to report such discrimination and propose solutions how to avoid it. Thanks to this, we obtained a fairer tax calculation, for example when it comes down to the properties or vehicles. Those who need a bigger house or car due to the number of family members, are calculated proportionally, unlike with the other citizens. The same method applies to the prices of water or electricity.
Introducing a family perspective into public policies is one of the main objectives of EFLAC. Another one is to provide a perfect service to the families and develop a plan of discounts and special offers basing on the cooperation with companies, to organize events for families, congresses, conferences etc. Those who are associated, get a card which allows them to obtain significant discounts, i.e. on cars and petrol, health insurance, children’s clothing or in the supermarkets, cinemas, amusement parks etc. Since free time is one of the key issues when we talk about families, ELFAC developed the Seal of Family Tourism. This label certifies that a destination, hotel or tourist activity is perfectly tailored to the needs of families with children. Large families have a significant market basket which makes them important consumers and with these agreements the benefits are mutual - both for the families and the companies.
Each national association has its own card, however as a response to growing necessity, ELFAC has launched a European Large Family Card which allows a family from any part of Europe to share the benefits that are being enjoyed by families in a different place, especially when traveling to other countries. Moreover, ELFAC organizes conferences attended by politicians, experts, associations’ professionals and promotes academic studies or surveys on the needs and situations of large families. Distinguishing the efforts of foreign entities, the Confederation awards annually one European national government, European local government, company, medium of communication and personality for the best practices towards large families.
Around 80 million people in Europe belong to a large family and with the recent economic crisis, these social entities are being seen as representing key values in the Europe of today, such as sharing things, helping each other or the joy of having siblings. Surveys show that the majority of European couples would like to have more children than they actually have. What’s important is that ELFAC doesn’t insist everybody should have a large family but rather points out that the conditions should allow each couple to have as many children as they desire and only this means true freedom - without discrimination and with equal opportunities. Following this idea, children should be seen as social good, positively valued by society as being essential that allows to look us into the future with hope.
Posted on Sun, March 1, 2015
by Iwona Sztajner