Turning Demographic Winter Into Spring

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The Demographic Winter is a silent emergency which concerns all European Countries. Among those leading the growing effort to raise awareness of the crisis and provide solutions is the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE). Meeting in Vienna last week, the well-organised and far-sighted group published this excellent resolution:
 There is no time to wait. There is no excuse to make anymore. We need to act, for the wellbeing of aged people, for the rights of our youth, for the future of our children.
– Recalling its 20th Anniversary Declaration – Families’ are Europe’s Treasure and building block for the future (Rome, 31 May 2017), calling on the Governments of the European States to create and promote family policies at the national level and promote family friendly EU policies, whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity;

– Considering the European Parliament resolution of 4 July 2017 on European standards for the 21st century (2016/2274(INI)) stressing the need to take into account the demographic ageing of Europe;

– Considering the Demographic outlook for the European Union (December 2017) which acknowledges that Europe is ageing dramatically;

– Considering the Policy Paper published by the Schuman Foundation on Europe 2050: the demographic suicide (27 February 2018);

FAFCE calls on the leaders of the European Union and its Member States to:

1. Raise awareness about the demographic winter and the urgency of acting in this field with international initiatives;

 

2. Implement a policy that recognizes the unique, fundamental and irreplaceable position of the family in society and considers it as the first “enterprise”, by which the desire of life for our continent is expressed not only through economic initiatives but especially by the raising of children as “The entrepreneurial spirit remains closely linked to the family spirit” (Cf. Europe 2050: the demographic suicide, p. 6);

3. Consider that a true family policy is not just a mere social support, but represents a forward-looking policy for the common good for an ageing society;

4. Actively support the demands of young people, who plan to take responsibility and build a family, with several children, but are often discouraged by inadequate and individualistic policies and cultures which are hostile to the family;

5. Support advanced palliative care and home care health policies, protecting the dignity of every person until natural death;

6. Put the family at the center of national policies, so that the demographic winter could become a demographic spring to shape the future of Europe.

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