How the 2021-2027 EU budget can end the institutionalisation of children in Europe

od_recom_mff2021_2027_dec2018_2The Opening Doors for Europe’s Children releases recommendations to support and inform negotiations on the future long-term budget of the European Union (EU). The campaign urges the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to take forward the renewed commitment to deinstitutionalisation –  the transition from institutional to family- and community-based care, as reflected in the European Commission’s proposals for the regulations on MFF 2021-2027.  

“The development of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which sets out the EU’s budget from 2021 to 2027, is an opportunity to ensure that EU funds promote social inclusion and better protect the rights of children who have been unnecessarily deprived of caring families and communities,” say the campaigners. “By maintaining, strengthening and expanding investments in deinstitutionalisation, the EU has the opportunity and means to give millions of children access to quality alternative care and a better life – not only across the EU but in all countries where EU funds reach children. This will also contribute to a more inclusive and prosperous society in the long term.”

A coalition representing 124 international and national civil society organisations from 16 countries across Europe provides five key actions needed to ensure the end of institutionalisation of Europe’s children. Specifically, the MFF 2021-2027 should:

  1. Maintain the promotion of deinstitutionalisation in all EU funding regulations for 2021-2027
  2. Strengthen social inclusion and integration of children in the communities through better EU investments
  3. Strengthen the role of civil society and service users in the decisions and EU-funded programmes related to children in institutions
  4. Strengthen measures that prohibit the use of EU funds on segregation, institutionalisation or social exclusion of people
  5. Expand rules and conditions to ensure that EU funds do not support institutionalisation of children and that these funds are used for sustainable national reforms.

Read the full text of the recommendations here. To learn more why children are in institutions, what is wrong with institutions and why the institutionalisation of children must end, see these five key facts. To see a snapshot of the real implementation of EU funds towards deinstitutionalisation for children during the current 2014-2020 funding period in Europe, click here.


The recommendations reflect the input of five international organisations working to improve the lives of children without or at risk of losing parental care: EurochildHope and Homes for ChildrenSOS Children’s Villages International, the International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO), and the European branch of the International Federation of Educative Communities (FICE Europe). They also reflect concerns and experience of the civil society from 16 European countries participating in the campaign.

For more information please contact: Katerina Nanou, Senior Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Eurochild, +32 (0) 2 211 0559,