UNICEF’s Pieter Bult: Romania’s Presidency at the EU Council, opportunity to involve children in making decisions

UNICEF representative to Romania Pieter Bult believes Romania’s holding the EU Council Presidency represents the perfect chance for Romania to try and create a change in respect to children’s participation in making decisions on a European level.

“We often speak of children in the future tense. But we often say ‘children are the future’ and ‘we do this for the children,’ however we don’t consult them in making decisions. Children aren’t only the future, they are also here, in the present. Within UNICEF, we see many problems in the world, especially in the poverty increase, including among children, and inequalities increase among those who have access to resources and those who don’t. We see huge problems in the migration area, in the climate changes area, (…) and we always think why, with all the knowledge we have, with all the collaboration, with all the resources involved, we’re still going into the wrong direction. Why aren’t we capable to solve these major problems? The children’s opinion won’t save the world, but will contribute to new ideas, because it is clear that the world needs new ideas, which are creative, not rigid, guided by stereotypes. If you talk to a child, you will see how creative he is and you will learn how open they are and how they speak from the heart. I believe the world needs such qualities and that is why I think that listening to the children’s opinion will make the difference,” Pieter Bult said on Saturday in a media briefing on the topics of children’s participation in decisions affecting their life, organised by UNICEF.

Members of the Children’s Board of Romania, UNICEF representative to Romania Pieter Bult and representative of the National Authority for the Protection of Child Rights and Adoption Cristina Cuculas participated in the action.

According to UNICEF Romania, during Romania’s Presidency at the Council of the EU “EU’s Children Declaration of Bucharest” is being drawn up, a framework document that will set the grounds of the mechanisms through which the children’s opinion will become a constant component of the decision-making processes on a European level that concern them. The declaration will reflect the opinions and believes of the children in Romania and Europe and is edited with the support of a wide network of European experts in terms of child rights.

“EU’s Children Declaration of Bucharest” is created following a complex process of consultation of children all over Europe, under the coordination of the Children’s Board of Romania, supported by UNICEF and other partners of Romania and the European Union.

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