Surveying family-friendly municipalities, a source of data and ideas

From the 25th of April till the 25th of May, family friendly municipalities of the European Network are requested to answer to the second survey on family policies. The survey introduces a new section about demography, in order to start tracking the natality trends of family friendly territories. 

In January 2022, the European Network of family friendly municipalities launched a survey on the family policies, implemented by its Members. 
The Network sent a form listing 75 policies, services, measures or benefits divided in 5 sessions:
A)-Environment and quality of life 
E)-Economic measures

Municipalities had just to tick the policies/services they provided. In each section, municipalities could detail the policies or write on policies that were not in the list. 
Every year, Trentino’s Agency of Social Cohesion, Family and Natality collects the family plans implemented by the Italian “family friendly” municipalities and publishes the taxonomy of the practices adopted. The survey is based on this taxonomy.

Aim of this survey is to collect more data and information about family policies at an European Level among the Network’s municipalities.This will provide a picture of what is “family friendly” and how municipalities are devoloping their offers for families.
Year by year, the survey will allow us to see how “family-friendliness” is spreading in Europe and through which policies. In the meanwhile we will collect new ideas and good practices according to the new needs of families.

1st Survey’s Results

In 2022 out of the 50 members, 13 municipalities from 6 Countries answered the survey: 

  • Lisboa (Portugal) 
  • Pergine Valsugana (Italy) 
  • Budapest District XVIII (Hungary) 
  • Penafiel (Portugal) 
  • Warsaw (Poland) 
  • Edessa (Greece) 
  • Cracow (Poland) 
  • Alghero (Italy) 
  • Pieve Tesino (Italy) 
  • Carisolo (Italy) 
  • Castelldefels (Spain) 
  • Braga (Portugal) 
  • Trzembica (Poland)

Italy, Portugal and Poland were the most represented, which is no surprise, considering that the three Countries have their own national “family friendly” certification. The European Network is gaining importance in Countries such as Greece, Spain and Hungary but there’s no national network at the moment.
As for the results, we notice that the most implemented policies were the “creation and promotion of family sports events” (A10) and “promotion and organization of cultural events such as music, theatre, readings, cinema…” (C14), which were developed by 84% of cities, 11 out of 13. 
Popular actions, active in 79% of municipalities, were: 

  • F1 (School support: supplementary services, homework help…), 
  • F3 (Flexibility of municipal office opening hours),
  • F5 (Summer camps, summer kindergarten…), 
  • F14 (Municipal and/or private nursery), 
  • E2 (Reduced rates for municipal services: cultural, recreational, sporting activities…), 
  • E1 (Reduced municipal tariffs: waste, water…), 
  • D2  (Associations, families and citizens engagement), 
  • C1 (Training activities for children and young people), 
  • C10 (Promotion of active citizenship: youth council, civil service, twinning of municipalities…), 
  • C18 (Financial support to local associations), 
  • C19 (Premises and spaces available to local associations), 
  • A6 (Parks and gardens with special facilities for children), 
  • A 11 (Meetings or events on benefits of health -such as healthy eating- or sports), 
  • A14 (Environmental education: meeting, workshops, ecological days).

The good news is that all 75 policies/actions were implemented, at least by one municipality. 

Education was the section most implemented (average 7.8), followed by Communication (7.5),  Economic Measures (7.3), Environment and Quality of life (6.6) and Governance (6.1). Actions on Family Welfare and Family Services, such as time bank, spaces for children and parents, nurseries, spaces for young people, school support, were implemented in just 5.7 municipalities. There’s still a long way to go.

2nd Survey: a new session gets in

The second survey of the European Network of family friendly municipalities will be delivered from the 25th of April and will be closed one month later, on the 25th of May. 
In this second edition, there will be a new section G, which will be focused on demographic datas. Municipalities will be required to report the number of marriages, the number of divorces and the number of children born from the 1st January 2022 to the 1st January 2023. It will also be requested to indicate the number of families with 3 and more children on the 1st January 2023.

“In this way – explains Mrs Regina Maroncelli, President of Elfac and Coordinator of the Network – we want to track the demographic trends of municipalities, in order to verify if there is a positive relation between family policies and natality. Marriages, divorces and large families are all important predictors of natality.” “The survey – underlines Mrs Maroncelli- is a precious tool for us and for researchers, but also for the municipalities. The cities have to regularly check their activities and improvements, see what is missing and introduce new policies, so as to redirect their efforts where it is most needed and be always closer to their families”.

If you are a family-friendly municipality, you can answer the survey here:

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