Discussion on demographic change and solidarity between generations should not be postponed – call by 11 MEPs from 5 groups

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).

Read the written question in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portugese, Croatian or Slovenian

In her response (available in the same languages), Commission Vice-President Dubravka Suica indicates that the Commission has included refrences to the princile of Solidarity between Generations in the proposals for a COVID-19 recovery fund and has meanwhile published the Report on Demographic Change. The discussion on the Green Paper on Ageing has been postponed from end-2020 towards 2021 to focus on the immediate crisis response.

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?

Answer of Commission Vice-President Suica

The question for written answer was replied to by Commission Vice-President for Demography and Democracy, Ms Dubravka Suica, on 29 July 2020:

1. While the Commission continues its efforts to protect lives and livelihoods and chart a path for Europe’s recovery, it continues to work to address more structural changes, including the twin green and digital transitions and the impact of demographic change. Demography is a priority for the Commission and has a dedicated portfolio for the first time to address these issues. Demographic change reflects long-term challenges that build up and unfold over many decades. It is too early to draw definitive conclusions on Covid-19’s possible impact on Europe’s long-term demographic outlooks. Nevertheless, it is clear that any future policy response will have to take into account demographic factors and draw lessons from the Covid-19 crisis. In this spirit, the Commission’s Recovery Plan adopted on 27 May 2020 explicitly calls for solidarity between generations and highlights the need to support vulnerable groups as part of a fair and inclusive recovery.
2. The report on the Impact of Demographic Change was adopted on 17 June 2020(1). As confirmed in the adjusted Commission Work Programme for 2020(2), it will provide the basis for a series of initiatives on demography, including the Green Paper on Ageing and the Long-term Vision for Rural Areas, which are both planned for 2021.
(1) COM(2020) 241 final, 17.6.2020.
(2) COM(2020) 440 final, 27.5.2020.

Inclusive Ageing: Reducing Social Exclusion amongst Older People. The Way Ahead – ROSEnet final conference

Closing the four-year work programme of the ROSEnet Cost Action – Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion – the event will present new, evidence-based policy messages adressing old age exclusion and targeting major participation domains: civic; social; economic; services; and neighbourhoods and communities. It will also present a roadmap for research and policy collaboration that advances the capacity of national and EU institutions to manage demographic ageing in a fair and just manner.

The discussions will furthermore assist in informing the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and its principles related to older adult inclusion.

This conference is organised in cooperation with AGE Platform Europe.
Venue: European Committee of the Regions, 99 Rue Belliard, 101, 1040 Bruxelles

Read more & register

For further information on this event and AGE involvement in ROSEnet, please contact Maciej Kucharczyk, maciej.kucharczyk@age-platform.eu

POSTPONED DUE TO COVID19: From disability rights towards a rights-based approach to long-term care in Europe – Joint AGE-European Centre event

The European Centre has recently published a report, ‘Towards a rights-based approach in long-term care: Building an index of rights-based policies for older people in Europe’ which presents the findings of the Rights of Older People Index (ROPI) and the Scoreboard on Outcome Indicators, as well as policy recommendations for twelve EU Member States.

Together with the European Center, AGE is organising an event in the European Parliament to demonstrate why a human rights-based approach is needed in long-term care policies across the EU. Hosted by MEP Milan Brglez (S&D Group), our joint event will also discuss with different stakeholders what practical tools could help in the development and assessment of policies to respond best to the social, economic and political challenges of an ageing population.

Target group: Policy makers, policy experts, NGOs.

View here the agenda

To register, please fill this form by 3 March 2020
(due to the limited capacity of the room, your registration will be confirmed, once you receive the confirmation email, not later than 4 March 2020)

Speakers:

  • MEP Milan Brglez, S&D Group
  • Kai Leichsenring, Executive Director, European Centre
  • Katarina Ivankovic Knezevic, Director for Social Affairs, European Commission
  • Kristoffer Lundberg, Deputy Director, Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
  • Marie-Dominique Parent, Human Rights Officer, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General, AGE Platform Europe
  • Ricardo Rodrigues, Deputy Director, European Centre
  • Magdi Birtha, Researcher, European Centre

Contact persons:

Magdi Birtha, birtha@euro.centre.org

Julia Wadoux, julia.wadoux@age-platform.eu