COFACE Families Europe together with AGE Platform Europe supported the launch of an Interest Group in the European Parliament on Solidarity between Generations. An online event on 23 September 2020 marked the establishment of the new Interest Group and included a discussion addressing the specific challenges COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the principle of intergenerational solidarity.
MEPs Milan Brglez (S&D) and Jarosław Duda (EPP) co-hosted the event and highlighted the importance of such a collaboration, especially in the current situation. “The current pandemic has hit some people particularly, including older persons”, said MEP Brglez when opening the meeting. “COVID-19 has exposed the challenge of how to create conditions for everyone to age in dignity and participate in society. Solidarity is the key, the necessary condition to overcome the challenges that are before us”, said MEP Duda.
The topic of the discussion was further introduced by inputs from the civil society representatives of both organisations supporting this interest group. Maciej Kucharczyk from AGE Platform Europe: “The choices we make today will impact solidarity tomorrow. We must be more present to the people around us, to anyone in our communities who are struggling to cope with the pandemic”.
Following his words was President of COFACE Annemie Drieskens who referred to our societies today being even more reliant on informal care: the cuts in and the closure of thousands of social services across Europe impact the lives of millions of children and adults. She called on the EU institutions “to recognize and value the work that family carers do daily, starting with greater social recognition and support to this invisible workforce in Europe.”
For more interventions, see this thread: https://twitter.com/IntergroupAge/status/1308757542827417606
The first steps to building a common agenda and vision for Solidarity between Generations can be found in an open letter sent to the Commission and Council on 28 May 2020, which received a response of President von der Leyen on 4 August 2020. See full letters here:
14.00-14.10 Opening by MEP Jarosław Duda (EPP)
14.10-14.30 Voices from civil society:
- Maciej kucharczyk, Director, AGE Platform Europ
- Annemie Drieskens, President, COFACE Families Europe
14.30-15.20 Solidarity between generations during and after the crisis
- Keynote speaker: Ivo Belet, Deputy Head of Cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Dubravka Suica
- Keynote speaker: Kirsten Leube, representative of the German Presidency of the EU
Reactions and recommendations from MEPs and general discussion
15.20-15.30 Closing words by MEP Milan Brglez (S&D) and launch of Interest Group on Solidarity between Generations
Working languages of the meeting: English and Polish.