” A New Treaty between Young and Old”

Report of EGP-Fringe Meeting in Ljubljana , 11th April 2008

 

At the EGP-Council in Ljubljana ENGS was present with a fringe meeting under the title” A New Treaty between Young and Old”. Participants from Austria, Belgium, Germany, France,

Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland took part at the lively discussion. A delegate of FYEG was present too.

The theme was chosen from our Manifesto by our members as the most important point. In future the subject will become much more urgent with regard on the demographic  change in whole Europe.

 

We started our fringe meeting with provocative questions which we fixed on the wall, because they reflected often heard   opinions about the relationship between old and young, e.g. that the old people have a very good live, can travel, whilst the younger once have to pay for it and in future is nothing left for them. And their pensions will become very low.

Very soon it was clear that we did not like these phrases, that we see the demographic change as a challenge and chance to establish a new treaty together with all generations.

 

At the moment in whole Europe a generation contract is not a binding law. In the course of the last decades it merely constituted a declaration to solidarity care for each other. But we found out that a new generation contract does not only imply old care.

The participants focused on the following points:

-          generation contract must become a law – it must be based on total transparency and we must fight for it

-          if there is a generation contract for pensions all, but especially the younger Greens, have to keep a watchful eye on it, that it will not be broken by the parliamentarians for their advantage, e.g. for better chances in elections and to the prejudice of the young people

-     a special minimum earning in every European state must be a law and is important for the basic height of pensions

-          a social consensus, based on solidarity

-          public health insurance for all generations

-          prevention and promotion of health instead of medical repair philosophy

-          not everybody is capable to look after himself – there must be solidarity between all

-          not favouring the present by neglecting the future – today we create the future of tomorrow

-          we shall not destroy the environment and leave high costs for the next generations

-          we shall not make more and more debts for our next generations

 

Consensus was, that generation equality is a chance to make long-term sustainable politics and will be achieved when generations of today and tomorrow have the same chances and an equal opportunity to shape their lives.

For ENGS it was the first activity to express our opinions into EGP. Our aim is to take out the discussion about solidarity between young and old into our societies in Europe.