Intergenerational Solidarity: the Way forward
NGOs’ coalition calls for 2012 to become
European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity
The current crisis is sharpening the sense of urgency to review fundamentally the way oursociety functions. Some groups have been particularly hit by the crisis, including the young, the low skilled, children in unemployed households, employees on temporary contracts, EU mobile workers, migrants, ethnic minorities and the elderly, and the long term social impact of the crisis is not yet fully known. Women have also been disproportionately hit, particularly women among the groups outlined. Public authorities are faced with unprecedented financial challenges and major reforms are being introduced at all levels to curb public spending. A large coalition of 13 European NGOs active in various sectors and representing different citizens groups wish to raise awareness of the need to ensure that whatever reforms are introduced, they will take on board gender equality and the particular needs of the more vulnerable and will consider social policies as a long term investment rather than a cost to the public purse. In our view, enhanced solidarity between generations can play a key role in developing fairer and more sustainable responses to the major economic and social challenges that the EU is facing today. Our society needs to become more inclusive to allow everyone to get involved whatever their age, gender, ethnic origin, skills and ability. Action is also urgently needed to ensure a fairer re-distribution of resources, responsibility and participation and to develop greater cooperation between generations in all social and economic spheres. It is important in today’s context to maintain a high level of solidarity in our social protection systems given its proven shock absorber effect during economic crisis. Public authorities should develop holistic and sustainable policies supporting all generations, facilitate access to adequate income and to affordable and quality services, particularly housing, education and health for people of all ages, and foster exchange of good practice and mutual learning between different generations. Engaging migrant and minority communities in intergenerational solidarity initiatives together with majority communities is crucial to break down harmful stereotypes, to bring communities closer together, dispel myths and create public space for dialogue. Awareness raising on creative initiatives of social solidarity developed by migrant and minority communities, including women’s organisations, is particularly important. The coalition welcomes the second European Day on Solidarity between Generations on 29 April 2010 which, we believe, will contribute to raising public and political awareness on the need to adopt a new vision for the European society. On behalf of the millions of citizens that our networks represent, we call on the European institutions and Member States to support the launch of a European Year on Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity in 2012 and to agree a ten year European Action Plan to help the EU develop a fair and sustainable social model that includes all generations and is sustainable in the long term. For more information on our plea:
INTERGENERATIONAL SOLIDARITY – THE WAY FORWARD
Proposals from the NGO Coalition for a 2012European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity This publication will be launched at the Spanish Presidency Conference in Logrono (Spain) on 29 2010.
Composition of the coalition of NGOs:
AGE Platform Europe, AEIP - the European Association of Paritarian Institutions of Social
Protection, AIM - the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies, CECODHAS –
Housing Europe - the European federation of social, cooperative and public housing,
COFACE - the confederation of Family Organisations in the EU, EUROCHILD, EWL - the
European Women’s Lobby, EAPN - European Anti-Poverty Network, ENAR - European
Network Against Racism, FEFAF - European Federation of Unpaid Parents and Carers at
Home, FERPA - European Federation Of Retired and Older Persons, Red Cross EU Office,
YFJ - the European Youth Forum.