24 Nov 2011

by Camilla Azzini

Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union – COFACE

What is COFACE?

COFACE is a pluralistic organisation, at the heart of civil society, which aims at promoting family policy, solidarity between generations and the interests of children within the European Union.

COFACE advocates a policy of non-discrimination and of equal opportunities between persons and between family forms, and specifically supports policies aiming at equality between women and men.

COFACE was originally founded in 1958 as the European Action Committee of the International Union of Family Organisations (IUFO). Over time, it gained more independence, and in 1979 turned itself into an international not-for-profit voluntary organisation with the name Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Community, now the European Union.

COFACE links together general and single-issue national family organisations. In 2010, it has above 50 member organisations across 21 Member States of the European Union.

As such, it gives a voice to many millions of parents and children.

What are COFACE’s aims ?

Numerous decisions or orientations taken at European level directly affect family life. The impact of EU policies on parents and children is such that there is a need for the shaping of a European family policy. Such a policy can be defined as the family dimension to be incorporated into the economic, social and cultural policies and initiatives drawn up at European level, in one word: “Family mainstreaming”.

With a view to promoting such a policy, COFACE works in three complementary directions:

  • as spokesperson for family organisations, it liaises with the European authorities in all sectors relating to the rights and interests of families
  • it informs national organisations of developments in the European Union, and encourages greater awareness of the Community dimension;
  • it organises exchanges of ideas and experiences as well as mutual aid between family organisations in different countries, e.g. via projects.

Over the years, COFACE’s action has contributed to the development of Community policy in areas such as the promotion of consumer interests, social protection, equal opportunities, the fight against social exclusion and discrimination, programmes to help disabled people and their families, demographic issues, the promotion of health and education, civil society, … The family dimension is therefore gradually being given a place in the field of European initiatives.

COFACE is committed to furthering this.

Learn more about COFACE downloading the presentation or contacting:

COFACE a.i.s.b.l.

Londenstraat 17 rue de Londres
B-1050 Brussels
+32 2 511 41 79
+32 2 514 47 73