On May 29, 36 Members of the European Parliament have sent a letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel, calling for upholding the EU treaty principle of solidarity between generations during the COVID-19 crisis and recovery.Continue reading “‘Solidarity between Generations must guide us through the crisis’, MEPs say to Commission & Council”
On 12 April 2020, an MEP from the Dutch party ’50plus’ asked the European Commission how it intends to ban age discrimination. He referred to a study by the Dutch consumer’s organisation Consumentenbond finding that older drivers are paying a surcharge on their insurance premium on the basis of their age, and are sometimes denied insurance.
Mr Toine Manders quoted the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which calls for banning discrimination based on age. The Commission put forward a proposal for a directive in 2008, the Horizontal Anti-discrimination Directive, to apply this principle. However, the Directive is since blocked in the Council of the EU. Mr Manders asked the Commission what it intends to do to unblock the directive.
The COVID19 crisis has seen diverging and often discriminatory treatment of vulnerable groups and unveiled the deficiencies in addressing demographic change. The discussion on demographic change and solidarity between generations should be at the heart of the efforts for a post-pandemic society, therefore the European Commission should not delay this discussion.
On the occasion of the EU Day of Solidarity between Generations, 29 April 2020, eleven MEPs from five political groups have questioned the Commission on its plans. The question for written answer has been signed by MEPs Milan Brglez (SI, S&D), Jaroslaw Duda (PL, EPP), Brando Benifei (IT, S&D), Fred Predrag Matic (HR, S&D), Irena Joveva (SI, Renew), Klemen Groselj (SI, Renew), Manuel Pizarro (PT, S&D), Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (FR, Renew), Marisa Matias (PT, GUE/NGL), José Gusmao (PT, GUE/NGL) and Niklas Nienass (DE, Greens/EFA).
Text of the Question for written answer
In the run-up to the European Day of Solidarity between Generations on 29 April, the emergency response to COVID-19 has rightly taken centre stage on the European agenda. Diverging and often inadequate treatment of vulnerable groups (including older people, persons with disabilities, children, women, etc.) has revealed pre-existing deficiencies in addressing demographic change. Furthermore, the COVID-19 crisis and Member States’ responses have underlined the need for better EU coordination and common action on health and social protection.
Demographic change and solidarity between generations must therefore be at the heart of discussions in the EU as we move towards a post-pandemic society and economy which must accommodate our ageing societies, and ensure everyone’s human rights are fully upheld.
The Commission included a Report on the Impact of Demographic Change and a Green Paper on Ageing in its 2020 Work Programme, but has delayed publication of the Report due to COVID-19.
1. What actions does the Commission intend to take to initiate the discussion urgently needed in response to EU demographic challenges in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath?
2. What will the postponement of the publication of the Report mean for the Green Paper on Ageing?