MEPs launch a group for Solidarity between Generations in responding to COVID

The COVID-19 crisis has shown that Solidarity between Generations is more needed than ever. MEPs from four political groups launched an interest group on Solidarity between Generations. Lack of resources and preparedness have put the lives of many vulnerable citizens at risk, including many older persons. Families had to and are still stepping in to provide care as schools and long-term care services were closed. These developments emphasize the need for addressing ageing and demographic change in a way that upholds European principles such as human rights, equality and solidarity between generations.

MEPs have grouped together in an interest group to work with the other institutions on promoting these principles.

Picture of European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Suica

‘We live in a world that is undergoing major transformations – environmental challenges, rapid digital developments, demographic change and not least the current COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges concern all generations and require us to join forces in solidarity with each other. As Europe is getting older, we face impacts of this as a society, in the economy, in our cities and rural areas. We may need more long-term care services, the work environment will change, connectivity will become even more important in determining our chances of employment or sometimes even social contact. We want to enable the young to build their future and ensuring that older persons can enjoy a life in dignity. This requires us to work hand in hand and reflect together on the right responses. With a Green Paper on Ageing we will discuss these intergenerational interactions and work towards solidarity and fairness between the generations – today and tomorrow.’

Vice-President for Demography and Democracy, Dubravka Suica

‘The German Council presidency aims at council conclusions on the rights of older persons in times of digitalisation, with the context of COVID19. The conclusions take a rights-based and comprehensive approach. There is some potential to strengthen intergenerational solidarity at the EU level and to foster social inclusion. We will work with our colleagues from the Trio presidency and the European Commission to take this forward’

Kirsten Leube, on behalf of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU

‘As a Cross-party initiative with a crosscutting and horizontal approach the interest group can help to bring focus to solidarity as a key concept modus operandi and modus vivendi, to overcome the present and future crises. The challenges that demographic change poses for the EU for our states and societies especially in the light of the experience with the pandemic and the measures taken in combating it, call for solidarity between states, regions, communities, between people and different generations.’

Milan Brglez, Member of the European Parliament (S&D, Slovenia) – see his full speech

‘The COVID 19 pandemic has ruthlessly shown the fragility and vulnerability of the elderly, the shortages of the support system, long-term care and the threat of this social group with isolation, exclusion and various forms of discrimination. The economic impact of a pandemic challenges all sections of society. Therefore I strongly believe that solidarity is a key, a necessary condition for us to be able to meet the challenges facing Europe today. Solidarity of all European Union countries, solidarity with disadvantaged groups, as well as solidarity between generations.’

Jarosław Duda, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, Poland)

The work of the interest group will be supported by the AGE Platform Europe, the EU’s largest network of organizations of and for older persons, and COFACE-Families Europe, the EU’s pluralistic network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families.

Relevant documents:

Current work of the interest group

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