V4 ‘Family Declaration’ Seen as Vehicle for Social Conservative Drive in EU

"We declare the taking of all possible measures - including those to be undertaken in cooperation with the Visegrad Group - in order to provide families with the best possible conditions for functioning," it concludes.

While the focus of the communication around the launch of the Declaration Pro Familia has been on fairly uncontroversial government actions, the V4 countries' plan to improve exclusively the economic situation of heterosexual families, primarily those with multiple children, and the fact the text is the initiative of Poland's nationalist-populist government, which has been carrying out a concerted campaign against women's and LGBT rights, raises many questions.

Do all V4 countries that signed the Declaration Pro Familia share the current Polish government's understanding of family, i.e. the 'traditional' family of a married heterosexual couple and their children? Will the Declaration lead to other joint actions by the V4 to restrict women's and LGBT rights, as Poland may well intend? And what will be the long-term impact of such coordination on wider EU policymaking in the areas of reproductive and gay rights?

Family mainstreaming

During the May 13 launch event in Warsaw, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spelled out at least his government's intentions on the further use of this initiative.

"We put enormous effort into further ensuring that the basic needs of families are met - in the budget, but also in regulations and policies, national and European. We want to promote the family within the EU - this is for us one of the basic goals of our social policy at the EU level," he told reporters.

Elzbieta Korolczuk, a sociologist and gender issues expert working at the Sodertorn and...

Continue reading on: