Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Open Letter on the Maltese Draft Equality Bill

logo fafce2logo canaOpen Letter to


Dr Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta

Dr Helena Dalli, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumers Affairs and Civil Liberties

Mr Simon Busuttil, Leader of the Opposition


Brussels - Valletta, 22 December 2016


Read more: Open Letter on the Maltese Draft Equality Bill

Press Release | Audiovisual Media Services in the EU: which protection for children?

European Parliament IMCO Committee votes for maintaining existing prohibition of TVs broadcasting pornography or gratuitous violence                

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Brussels, 8 December 2016


On Monday, 5 December, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) voted an opinion regarding the revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive which recommends that the existing prohibition of TVs broadcasting pornography or gratuitous violence is maintained.
FAFCE President, Antoine Renard, welcomes this outcome, affirming that “The European Union should not weaken its standards on the protection of minors: on the contrary, the revision of this Directive can be the occasion to strengthen these standards, recognising the negative effects of harmful contents on children, families and society”.
In May 2016, the European Commission issued a proposal (
COM(2016) 287) amending the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU), with the aim of adapting it to the new realities of this fast-evolving market.
The Directive currently in place explicitly forbids that television broadcasts include programmes involving pornography or gratuitous violence, in order to protect minors from these harmful contents (article 27). However, the Commission proposal removed this article, weakening the protection of minors. According to this proposal, TVs could broadcast gratuitous violence and pornography, as long as these are subject to measures such as “encryption and effective parental controls”.
FAFCE is concerned that the protection of minors from harmful content is being weakened under the current revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and firmly believes that the existing standards in this regard should be maintained and further extended to encompass also On-demand services. As children are nowadays very comfortable using technologies and considering the multiple platforms through which it is possible to access audiovisual contents at any time and place, the best way to protect them from pornography and gratuitous violence is prohibiting audiovisual media service providers from offering such contents, as it currently happens for TV broadcasters.
The European Parliament is preparing its proposal to amend the Directive, under the responsibility of the Culture and Education Committee (CULT), and various Committees are issuing opinions to inform the final report of the CULT Committee, which will be voted on 28 February 2017. Many Members of the European Parliament, from different political Groups, are aware of the challenges of this procedure and are already working for a better child protection.
FAFCE welcomes the recent vote in the IMCO Committee and hopes that the CULT Committee will go forward in this direction. Antoine Renard says that “We are convinced that it is still possible to go further and extend this recommendation to on-demand services, so that these are also impeded of providing contents that include pornography or gratuitous violence”.

Nicola Speranza, Policy Officer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+32 (0)498 46 02 20

The European Social Charter in the Context of Implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

Brussels, 7 December 2016

The European Parliament's Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs published a paper on “the European Social Charter in the Context of Implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights” that analyses how the European Social Charter, a Council of Europe treaty about social and economic rights, has been taken into account regarding the protection of fundamental rights in European legislation.

The report, prepared by Professor Olivier de Schutter, was presented last Monday in the Committee for Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament (AFCO). It finds that Member States diverge on their take up of the European Social Charter and have different levels of commitments and also that the Court of Justice of the European Union does not consider the Charter as it considers the European Convention on Human Rights.

Professor de Schutter argues that this situation is not sustainable because the social and economic governance in the EU does not properly address social rights and due to conflicts between the European Social Charter and EU legislation. Therefore, he proposes that the Charter is given more visibility when doing new laws and impact assessments, that the European Commission identifies a common core that all Member States can commit to regarding the Charter and that the possibility of EU accession to this treaty is studied.

FAFCE holds a participatory status at the Council of Europe and is among the organisations which have the right to initiate collective complaint procedures about the implementation of the European Social Charter.

Seminar | Policies for Families: Is there a Best Practice?

On Thursday, September 29, the European Parliament hosted the 4th Annual FamiliesAndSocieties Stakeholder Seminar, promoted by the Stockholm University, FamiliesAndSocieties and Population Europe. Panelists addressed the topics of transition from youth to adulthood, equality and childcare.

Read more: Seminar | Policies for Families: Is there a Best Practice?

“Mum, Dad & Kids” European Citizens Initiative - Letting EU Citizens have a say on marriage and family



As announced earlier in our newsletter, a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) on marriage and family has been launched across the European Union. An ECI is a democratic instrument introduced by the European Union to give citizens more possibilities to express their opinion on policy matters within the competence of the European Union. Besides the European elections it is the only true tool for citizens to have their say in the European decision making process.

Read more: “Mum, Dad & Kids” European Citizens Initiative - Letting EU Citizens have a say on marriage and...

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