08 Mar 2011

Left Behind – Brussels Conference: Interview to Ms. Hainsworth and Mr Paoletti


So we’re here with Mr. Patrizio  Paoletti, President of L’Albero della Vita and Fondazione Patrizio Paoletti, and Ms. Jana Hainsworth, Segretary General of Eurochild.

JOURNALIST to Mr. Paoletti

The first question to Mr Paoletti: What is the meaning of being here and what are the results you are expecting from the conference today?


First, we aim to create a Network of Organizations and NGOs able to highlight the phenomenon of children left behind and of migration flows in Europe with appropriate intensity; moreover, to bring the attention of European institutions to the main steps that should be undertaken to address to this problem, starting from stressing the importance of a pedagogical approach aimed at finding cause-related and final solutions to the phenomenon in the Countries of Origin. Secondly, the aim of this meeting is to highlight the importance to make the frontiers more flexible in order to favour a faster integration processes of different cultures, and fostering the cohesion and pacific co-habitation.

JOURNALIST to Ms. Hainsworth:

Ms Hainsworth, how has the phenomenon of children left behind been handled at European level and what is Eurochild doing to help EU leaders to give attention to the problem?


I don’t want be too pessimistic but there has been very little attention given in the EU political agenda. We saw the resolution of the European Parliament and demands made on European Commission who basically are the Executive and have the responsibility to carry out activities and undertake research, addresses issue and it is actually been very neglected despite some of the attention within the European Parliament and from NGOs. So we hope that this agenda today will kind of put it back high on the EU’s agenda enable them to look at an integrative way in existing initiatives of the European Commission for example all the flagship initiatives around the European 2020 strategy particularly in the framework of the Agenda for Skills and Jobs which focuses very strongly on promoting labour mobility and doesn’t look at the human and social aspects which we think need to be integrated in their approach from the very beginning.

Eurochild is actually an umbrella promoting children’s rights and fighting against child poverty. We believe that these two agendas underpin the approach that we need to address on children left behind and so we are happy that our member L’Albero della Vita has taken that agenda forward and initiated this Network.

JOURNALIST to Mr. Paoletti:

Which is the philosophy of L’Albero della Vita, and, above all, which is the mission of the Organization?


L’Albero della Vita Foundation’s core idea is that, being today’s children the men and women of tomorrow, we need to support parents and caregivers in taking care and in educating their children during their development. By doing this, the world of the future will be populated by balanced people, able of integration and of a positive reaction to the different problems affecting our society and our every-day life. L’Albero della Vita Foundation acts being in close contact with and giving support to EU institutions, all main organizations and all institutions in general involved in fostering the knowledge of and in giving an answer to the many complex problems brought by such a fast changing world.

We operate in Italy and in other parts of the world with the aim to contribute to the protection of children’s rights, with the same commitment, the same energy and the same willingness, because we think that only a mutual knowledge will bring in our future a real peace, a really cooperative way to live between individuals.

JOURNALIST to Ms. Hainsworth:

According to Eurochild how do you think the problem has to be tackled in the future at both national and European level?


This is a very big question and I think that the phenomenon is actually being now explored. You can see the complexity of the issue so there is a huge amount to be done. We heard this morning about the importance of investing in social welfare at local level. The situation is that many of these children are left without any support because it is the poorest countries where their parents are leaving and they are left without the necessary support, so really investing in social services and welfare systems at national and local level. EU has an important impetus to play because of the financial instruments that they provide and at EU level we need to really change in the paradigm of the direction we are heading in, now we are only looking at growth with no examination of what the human and social long terms costs, because I think that if we look at the long-term future of Europe we need to invest in children, in childhood and give the children the best opportunities to fulfil their true potential.