Season's Greetings 2016 from EPA
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Season's Greetings

from the

European Parents' Association

Dear Friends,

The world has faced many challenges in 2016 bringing us worries for the future of our most precious, our children. When looking at pictures of children from Aleppo or unaccompanied children in makeshift refugee camps, experiencing higher-than-even levels of child poverty, living in a Europe where madmen are endangering lives and helping fearmongers to try and prevent us to live the life we want in our common Europe, we have reason to be anxious while we all see the rise of populism, nationalism and xenopfobia. It is our duty as parents to act in order to preserve our values and to make sure our children will live in the future we wish to create for them. There probably hasn't been a time in the past 70 years when active citizenship of parents had been more important as we should never forget, we are the people responsible for our children and thus it is our duty to control states and politicians for their peaceful and European future.

In this spirit EPA spent its 31st year reflecting on our past, present and future. We used both of our regular yearly events to co-create activities that our members can use in their national contexts and at the same time that are also useful for our advocacy in Europe. 2016 also marked the widening of our activities beyond Europe as EPA was the driving force behind creating the International Parents' Network. After 30 years of advocacy work parental involvement and child participation has been declared the key to a successful education system by the European Commission, although it is yet to be applied on national level.

In 2017 we will continue to raise the voice of parents in all important aspects of policy and practice that affect the lives of our children. We dedicate our events to two major turning points in the lives of our children. The Spring event (22-24 April, Paphos, Cyprus) will discuss early childhood education and reconciliation of family life and work from the parents' perspective, very different from current policy trends, and the Autumn event (24-25 November, Tallinn, Estonia) will focus on career guidance and tertiary pathways other than university. You can already save the dates.

But now we all need to switch off, relax and enjoy some time with our beloved ones, while also trying to act and help those in need. 

I'm taking this opportunity to wish all of you a wonderful holiday period and a happy, healthy, safe and European 2017 to all of us. 

All the best to you and your family,

Eszter Salamon
Copyright © 2016 European Parents' Association, All rights reserved.

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