The University of Europe and the “Foundation for the Child and the Family” organised a conference with the topic: “”The Child and the Family in the 21ST century, in Europe” in Sorbonne, from the 31st of May until the 1st of June 1999. The Conference took place under the aegis of the President of the French Republic, Mr Jacques Chirac, and was aiming at examining the modern parameters related to the possibilities for the development of children in the suburbs of the big cities of our continent.


The Conference examined the linguistic and family issue within the frame of the new technologies as well as the new social-cultural elements which characterise the big European cities

Particular emphasis was given to:

a) the illiteracy, a problem that constantly takes new dimensions, and

b) the living conditions of the children who live on the social margins of the developed countries (i.e. the children of the, so called, “Fourth World”).

30 specialised European scientists participated in the conference, who deal with the investigation of the causes and parameters that are presently causing problems to the Family and Child; problems which continuously influence a large proportion of the population and seriously tend to threaten the European societies of the 21st century, if measures are not taken.

The data was examined under the light of the new arguments which follow two main axes:

* the new forms of illiteracy responsible for the marginalisation of children and do not allow their smooth integration in the society

* the living conditions of the fourth world -this new term which the scientists referred to nowadays when they examine the underdeveloped groups of citizens who live in the developed countries- as well as the consequences of these conditions to the development of the children.