NEWS

All organizations willing to cooperate

Political organizations acknowledge their responsibility for planning family policy, but say there is no central institutional responsibility while expressing regret at the lack of cooperation and coordination among all the agencies involved. They also believe that the government should support the family and enable it to decide on its structure on the basis of personal preference. «I am not in favor of government intervention into personal choices,» said one representative of a political agency, «but I am in favor of government support so that personal choices can be realized.» Some of those surveyed expressed the view that the government should document family structures, without specifying the extent of such an intervention. Some criticized the fact that the government employs only economic means of supporting the family, «though it has everything at its disposal: incentive and disincentive mechanisms, administrative and legal decisions, funds and educational procedures.» The study found that the effect of state family policy on family life in the Mediterranean member states and three future members (Estonia, Hungary and Poland) was insignificant, partly due to the extremely low level of benefits and the minimal presence of the state in such policies. In general, the report concluded that bonuses and provision of services were of secondary importance in encouraging people to have families. The most important factors are a steady income from employment, affordable housing and a satisfactory standard of living.