Skip to main content
Skip to main content

How can the EU Prioritise the Needs of Children and Young People?


EU policy initiatives can play an important role in strengthening responses to common challenges such as disadvantage, youth unemployment and gender inequality across Member states. The EU Youth Guarantee was introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, with preparations underway for the introduction of the EU Child Guarantee, as Europe emerges from the pandemic. The Child Guarantee aims to prevent and combat child poverty and social exclusion in the European Union, and is already being piloted in seven EU Member States.

How do these initiatives benefit children and young people, and how are they perceived by young people? What is important for children and young people, and how can the EU be seen as relevant by children and young people? We will hear the views of children and young people themselves, learn about the experience of the EU Child Guarantee through the pilot project, and consider what is important as Ireland prepares.   

Event details


Watch the recording.

Moderator & Panel Contributors

massimiliano mascherini

The keynote for this event is Massimiliano Mascherini (Head of Unit, ad interim, Social Policies, Eurofound). Massimiliano joined Eurofound in 2009 as a research manager, designing and coordinating projects on youth employment, NEETs and their social inclusion, as well as on the labour market participation of women.

Moderator and Panel Contributors

Minister Roderic O’Gorman TD, Department of Children, Equality, Disability Integration and Youth

Maria Zlatareva-Pernishka, UNICEF, Bulgaria

Eurochild Children’s Council

Tanya Ward, Children’s Rights Alliance

Moderator: Áine Kerr. Áine is a teacher-turned-journalist, editor, lecturer, platform executive, executive coach, broadcaster, public speaker and media entrepreneur. Áine is co-founder and COO of Kinzen.

Programme of Events

Perspectives on Disadvantage: How Inequality Concerns Everyone

Kate Pickett

Monday November 15th

Disadvantage prevents children, families and communities from reaching their potential and being heard. Professor Kate Pickett, (University of York) co-author of the Spirit Level and the Inner Level will explain why equal societies do better, and how disadvantage is an issue for us all. Panel contributors include Bernie Laverty, National ABC Manager at Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, Owen Ward, Traveller Education Officer at the Access Centre NUI Galway, and Emer Smyth, Research Professor at the ESRI.

Mitigating Disadvantage through Public Policy


Wednesday November 17th

How can public policy respond to the needs of children and families experiencing disadvantage? Olivier Thévenon, Head of the Child Wellbeing Unit, OECD will talk about effective approaches to family support in different jurisdictions. Panel contributors include senior officials Conor Rowley and Ciara Pidgeon from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Professor Conor O’Mahony, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection and Karen Kiernan, CEO of One Family.

Making Connections or Digitally Divided? Disadvantage in the Digital World

Professor mark brown

Monday November 22nd

The digital world is increasingly important in the lives of children and young people – it’s a place to learn, play and participate. Professor Mark Brown, from the National Digital Learning Centre at DCU will explain why a digital society also needs to be a fair society. Panel contributors include Ellen Helsper, Professor of Digital Inequalities (LSE) and we’ll hear how the innovative use of technology in organisations such as Foróige and iScoil is helping young people to reach their potential in the real world.

How can the EU Prioritise the Needs of Children and Young People?

massimiliano mascherini

Wednesday November 24th

How can EU policy initiatives benefit children and young people? What’s important for children and young people as Europe emerges from the pandemic? Massimiliano Mascherini, Head of Unit ad interim Social Policies with Eurofound will share insights from research on the relationship between young people and the EU. Panel Contributors include the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the Eurochild Children’s Council, and UNICEF.