European political groups fail to create a pluralistic forum to discuss demographic change & intergenerational solidarity
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, 20th December 2019
We are disappointed that the European Parliament has not considered our joint proposal for a pluralistic intergroup on ‘Demographic Change and Solidarity between Generations’. Our proposal gathered support from around 50 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) from five different political groups, and was meant to support the European Parliament in addressing Europe’s demographic challenges in a progressive, pluralistic and inclusive way, reflecting the aspirations of millions of citizens of all ages and in line with EU fundamental values.
Last July, AGE addressed a letter to Dr Ursula von der Leyen - then President-elect of the European Commission - asking her to designate a Commissioner for Demographic Change and to launch an EU strategy on Ageing. The decision to nominate Ms Dubrovska Šuica as Vice-President for Democracy and Demography was hugely welcomed, as well as the mandate to launch a Green paper on Ageing, creating the necessary political momentum to ensure that citizens of all ages can enjoy their rights and are given equal opportunities to contribute to society.
“Now that the list of intergroups selected by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) is public, we can but regret that our proposal did not gather the required support from MEPs to promote a progressive approach to demography based on intergenerational solidarity and social justice. We take this opportunity to thank the almost 50 MEPs who have supported us along the campaign, and we look forward to working with them throughout their mandate”, insisted Ebbe Johansen, President of AGE.
“Together with the European Parliament, we want to safeguard a social, inclusive and democratic Europe. We want to work closely with MEPs to drive the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights through a mix of actions (policy, law, benchmarking, funding) founded on European core values of gender equality, non-discrimination, social inclusion, intergenerational solidarity, and driven by the needs of the wide diversity of families of today. We call on MEPs to support families of all ages and give them a strong voice in the new European Parliament” said Annemie Drieskens, President of COFACE Families Europe.
As AGE and COFACE, we dissociate ourselves from the Intergroup on ‘demographic challenges, family-work balance and youth transitions’ which was established by the EPP, ECR and ID, and which proposes actions based on a traditional vision of family which is not in line with our common vision for building inclusive European societies.
AGE and COFACE will continue working with the new European Parliament in the form of an interest group to discuss the actual needs and expectations of the millions of citizens of all generations and families gathered in both our respective networks. We stay open to work with other European Parliament intergroups on topical issues in a way which accommodates the diversity of realities for older persons and families of today.
Note to the editor
AGE Platform Europe is a European network of organisations of and for people aged 50+ aiming to voice and promote the interests of the 190 million citizens aged 50+ in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most. www.age-platform.eu
COFACE Families Europe is a network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families without discrimination. COFACE Families Europe’s areas of work include social/family policy, education, disability, gender equality, migration, consumer issues, and also protection of children online, privacy, data protection and reflections on technological developments and how they may impact families. More: www.coface-eu.org