The purpose of EUFASA is the exchange of information and ideas among its members to improve the provisions relating to spouses, partners and families of officers employed by the EU Foreign Ministries. It aims to identify effective family support practices, and to raise awareness both at national and EU level and gain support for family-friendly policies within the EU Ministries of Foreign Affairs.
The current members of EUFASA are the spouses/partners’ associations of:
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, EU Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The spouses/partners’ associations of Iceland and Switzerland are associate members, having the same rights than members. The EU Member States without spouses/partners’ associations as well as the EU Accession and Candidate states have observer status.
Topics of interest to EUFASA include:
- spouse/partner employment
- pension provisions
- education, especially children with special needs
- separation and divorce
- foreign born spouses
- voluntary work
- legal status
These themes recur in different forms, along with topics pertaining to the structure and mechanisms of EUFASA itself, in the working groups and the Conference presentations. Some topics merit EUFASA-wide surveys where information is often elicited both from the associations and their Ministries.
How EUFASA works
EUFASA’s delegates meet at an annual conference, and during the year the preparatory work is done on a members’ website. The website houses a members’ notice board, information, a discussion forum and online working groups where topics are prepared for the next Conference.
The Association hosting the Conference is Chair of EUFASA from the 1st of July until the 30th of June of the following year. The Chair is assisted by the previous and the next Chair ( the “Troika”) and by other delegates forming the “Steering Committee”.
At the end of each EUFASA Conference a letter is usually drafted summarizing the Conference and outlining any recommendations arising from the Conference, and each association is requested to present it to its own Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It was a Greek diplomat’s wife who came up with the idea of a meeting amongst the different European Community MFAs’ Spouses Associations. The Italian Spouses Association (ACDMAE) organized in Rome in 1985, during the Italian Presidency of the EEC, a Symposium. Since then a Conference has been held every year in a different European capital.
More information about EUFASA: www.eufasa.org
EUFASA Conference 2013, 12 to 14 May, Bern
For more information about the conference in Bern, please login.