"Intergenerational fairness and demographic challenges" – FAFCE Dialogue with Dubravka Šuica
On January 27, 2021, FAFCE (The Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe) held its third dialogue on demographic challenges with the European Commission Vice-President in charge of Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica.
The main themes of the dialogue between Vicenzo Bassi, president of FAFCE, and the Vice-President Dubravka Šuica, were the fairness between generations and the present and future demographic challenges in Europe, mainly the family rights, ageing, and loneliness. The discussion came in the wake of the publication of the European Commission’s Green Paper on Ageing, which sets out the key issues related to ageing and discusses the possible response to the socioeconomic impact of Europe’s ageing population.
In the opening address, Mr. Vincenzo Bassi pointed out that families are often ignored or left out of the discussions “because they do not go on strikes”. Ageing is, however, first and foremost a "family issue" and affects all family members. He also insisted on the role of families in society as stable unions and presented the work of FAFCE in collaboration with COMECE.
In her keynote speech, Vice-President Dubravka Šuica brought to attention the increasing impact of ageing in future decisions regarding labor market, care for elderly persons, and social isolation. Speaking on the Green Paper on ageing, the Vice-President said that the document took a life-cycle approach, acknowledging the need for lifelong learning, better communication between generations, and increased awareness of differences between cultures. Another projected goal is finding the balance between pragmatic solutions for welfare and intergenerational solidarity. The paper also invites the public to give its views on the matter; in the Vice-President’s words, “there is a huge need to start the discussion on our common future and to show the European citizens that they can influence the decisions and the future policies adopted by the European institutions.”