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Lisbon Conference of Family Platform

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[08.06.2010] From the 25th until the 27th May 2010 an important stage of the Family Platform has taken place in Lisbon. More than 100 representatives from science, associations and policy discussed intensely in study groups, future main focuses of research.


The Lisbon conference was a climax of the process of the Family Platform. The aims of the Platform are to receive an overview on current research, to identify future research necessities as well as the approaching trends in family policy in Europe. In addition reports were provided on eight different "Existential Fields" which were discussed in the conference in a dialog between stakeholders, scientists(or achademics) and policy makers. As well as the discussions in Lisbon there was a possibility for the participants to comment on the reports in the online platform. The remarks and dialogs are summarized in an extra report.


The reports are divided into 8 fields:

  1. Family Structures and Family Forms
  2. Development Processes in the Family
  3. State Family Policies
  4. Family and Living Environment
  5. Family Management
  6. Social Care and Social Services
  7. Social Inequality and Diversity of Families
  8. Family, Media, Family Education and Participation

The working groups during these three days consisted of  10 to 25 persons and they  discussedthe eight "Existential Fields" as well as  eight other subjects: Transitions to adulthood, motherhood and fatherhood in Europe, ageing, families and social policy, Gender equality and families, family relationships and well-being, changes in conjugal life, reconciling work and care for young children: parental leaves, reaching out to families: the role of family associations and other institutions.


It is also a task of the Family Platform to develop future scenarios which help to understand future developments and allow the pursuit of mind games regardless of reality. The purpose is not to develop real scenarios that are held as probable. It mainly concerns a technique which should permit free thinking and associating and is not unusual in social science for the development of creative ideas. Four very different scenarios were introduced:

  1. A society in a European state with open migration, different education styles and values, a mixture of private and public care systems, with the equal chances
  2. A society with almost non available migration, private education structure, extreme values, privatized care systems and growing inequality, weak EU structures
  3. A society with limited migration, private education, different accepted values, privatized care systems and with growing inequality
  4. A society with closed migration, a stiff public education system with specific curricula, accepted different values, public care systems and the equal chances at low levels, the EU as a mega state, women's dominance in the educational area, and reproductive possibilities without biological parents according to the wishes of the state.