21879 brochure age_2010_en


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The coalition published a joint brochure entitled "INTERGENERATIONAL SOLIDARITY - THE WAY FORWARD. Proposals from the NGO Coalition for a 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity"

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21879 brochure age_2010_en

  1. 1. INTERGENERATIONAL SOLIDARITY THE WAY FORWARDProposals from the NGO Coalition for a 2012European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity
  2. 2. PROGRESSwww.kbs-frb.be http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=327&langId=enThe King Baudouin Foundation is an independent and This publication was funded by the Communitypluralistic foundation.We provide financial support to Programme for Employment and Social Solidarityaround 2,000 organizations and individuals annually. (2007-2013). This programme is managed by theThe Foundation also acts as a forum for debate and European Commission Directorate General forreflection and fosters philanthropy. With an annual Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.budget of 48 million euros, the Foundation looks for It was established to financially support thesustainable ways of contributing to justice, democracy implementation of the objectives of the Europeanand respect for diversity. Union in the employment and social affairs area, as set out in the Social Agenda, and thereby contributeWe operate out of Brussels, but are active at regional, to the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy goals inBelgian, European and international level. Our Board these fields.of Governors sets out broad lines of action, which areimplemented by some 60 colleagues. The Foundation The seven-year programme is aimed at all participantswas created in 1976, to mark the 25thanniversary of who may help shape the development of appropriateKing Baudouin’s reign. and effective legislation and social and employment policy throughout the EU-27, the EFTA-EEA countries,The King Baudouin Foundation has been active plus the candidate and pre-candidate countries forfor many years on issues around ageing and membership of the EU. The aim of PROGRESS is tointergenerational solidarity. Recently it has provided strengthen the contribution of the EU and thus helpfinancial support to 172 projects which help older Member States to abide by their commitments andpeople play an active and meaningful role in society satisfactorily perform their actions with a view toand create sustainable and reciprocal relationships creating more and higher-quality jobs, and to build abetween generations. society based on solidarity. Naturally, it will help:The Foundation set up two reflection groups composed • To provide analysis and advice in the activity areasof individuals who are active in the voluntary sector, in which it has expertise;social movement and enterprises and who, after oneyear of exchange of ideas and experience, concluded • To monitor and report on the application of commu-with a series of proposals for action. nity legislation and policy in the same areas;The Foundation organised a cycle of seminars on • To promote the transfer of policy, the exchange ofintergenerational solidarity to widen the public knowledge and support between Member Statesdebate on these issues. The outcome of the work for EU objectives and priorities, anddone by these two groups is described in a publication • To communicate its opinions to participants and“Une Société pour tous les âges” (a Society for all society in general.Ages) which contains examples of intergenerationalprojects. The publication is available in French andDutch on our website and includes an ExecutiveSummary in English.
  3. 3. Content Introduction Intergenerational solidarity and its importance for different policy areas 4 Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of: Poverty, social exclusion and access to minimum living quality standards 6 Family Policies 8 Education Policy 10 The Environment and Sustainable Development 12 Immigration and Integration 14 Housing and Urban Development 16 Transport and Mobility 18 Quality Working Life 20 Co-ordinated Retirement Schemes and Occupational Pensions 22 Health and long-Care 24 Citizen-based initiatives in favour of intergenerational solidarity 26 Conclusion A call for a European Year on Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity and a European Action Plan 28 Useful links 29 Glossary 30 Acronyms 31 NGO Coalition on Intergenerational Solidarity - Contacts 32 3
  4. 4. Introduction : Intergenerational solidarity and its importance for different policy areas S ince 2008, a coalition of European NGOs1 has been working together to promote greater intergenerational solidarity as a tool to achieve social cohesion, and as a way of addressing the demographic challenge that the EU is facing today.4
  5. 5. In April 2008, supporting the suggestion made by thiscoalition1, the Slovenian Presidency of the EuropeanUnion announced that it was proposing to declare29 April European Day of solidarity and cooperationbetween generations. The first EU Day was officiallylaunched on 29 April 2009.To mark the second European Day and as acontribution to the 2010 European Year againstPoverty and Social Exclusion, the coalition decidedto publish a joint brochure to demonstrate therelevance of intergenerational solidarity in differentpolicy frameworks and provide recommendations onhow greater solidarity between generations can be consider social policies as a long term investmentpromoted in various policy areas to help provide an rather than a cost to the public purse.environment where the contribution of everyone isvalued and everyone is empowered to play a part. The purpose of this brochure is not to present anWith this joint brochure we wish to launch a debate exhaustive inventory of the issue nor to list allon the impact of demographic change in today’s interesting initiatives existing in this area, but tocontext of global recession and the urgent need to initiate discussions with all relevant actors. We willdevelop fair and sustainable solutions to ensure the continue to gather information on how the debatewell being of all in the long term. is progressing and on interesting initiatives and will promote the exchange of ideas and experiencesThe current crisis has sharpened the sense of urgency throughout the European Union. If you are interestedto review fundamentally the way our society in our initiative, help us move the debate forward.functions. As the Joint Report on Social Protection Circulate this publication among grass rootsand Social Inclusion 20102 demonstrates, “firm policy organisations, political decision-makers and theintervention and the automatic stabilizers embedded media, and send us your comments and examplesin European welfare systems have limited the of intergenerational projects and policies. With youreconomic and social impact of the worst recession help, by next year we will have taken a huge stepin decades”. However some groups have been forward.particularly hit by the crisis, including the young,the low skilled, women, employees on temporary A glossary of the terms used throughout this brochurecontracts, EU mobile workers, migrants and the as well as a list of useful links can be found at the endelderly and the long term social impact of the crisis is of the publication.not yet fully known.Public authorities are faced with unprecedentedfinancial challenges and major reforms are introducedat all levels to curb public spending. As representativeNGOs working with large citizens groups, we wish toraise awareness of the need to ensure that whateverreforms are introduced, they will take on board theparticular needs of the more vulnerable and will 1 See list of NGOs at end of document. 2 http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=757&langId=en 5
  6. 6. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of But poverty is more than the lack of financial resources and income, whether through employment or socialPoverty, social benefits. It is a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses the notion of vulnerability,exclusion and precariousness, lack of opportunities, and denial of rights, such as access to education and health,access to minimum culture, housing, heating employment, services and infrastructure as well as access to information, social,living quality cultural and political participation. Most importantlystandards it prevents people from participating in society and leading a life in dignity. Affordable access to quality services, for children, D espite the overall wealth of the European Union (EU), poverty in the EU is still unacceptably high. In adults and the elderly alike, is crucial to prevent poverty and social exclusion. Access to education, that takes account of each individual’s overall 2008, 17% of the EU population live development throughout the life-cycle, can have an at risk of poverty - about 80 million important impact on breaking the intergenerational people. Children, young people and the transmission of poverty. Appropriate housing, employment services, and health care for all are elderly are among the most at-risk. important pillars of a cohesive society which canSocial exclusion and persisting inequalities represent restore social trust. To eliminate poverty, we need toa threat to the European social model. Poverty is very fight prejudice and discrimination. We need to ensureoften passed on from one generation to the next. all citizens enjoy equal rights. Solidarity betweenWomen are part of every group at risk of poverty and generations, between different parts of society, andsocial exclusion, and in most cases they experience between regions and countries is a fundamentalpoverty and social exclusion more than men. building block.The adequacy of pensions plays a key role inalleviating poverty among the elderly. Elderlywomen, while they live longer have fewer healthylife years and together with the very old tend to facea particularly high poverty risk. Adequate minimum Did you know that :income schemes are a lifeline for those unable to According to Eurostat figures,work, temporarily or permanently, often because children living in poor familiesof care responsibilities towards children or elderly are at greater risk-of-povertyfamily members. It is women, and particularly single than the rest of the population inmothers, who find themselves in these circumstances. most countries, ranging from 10%Child benefits have proven to impact on reducing in Denmark to 25% in Italy andchild poverty levels, although this depends on their Romania, with an EU average ofdistribution within the household. 19%. The rate for single parent families is even higher. The same rate is valid for the elderly, where the risk of poverty faced by people aged 65 or more ranges from 5% in the Czech Republic to 30% in Lithuania and the United Kingdom, 33% in Estonia and Latvia, and even reaches 51% in Cyprus. Migrants and ethnic minorities like Roma are at even greater risk. 6
  7. 7. Recommendations This service helps create long-term jobs in the personal services sector. As social NGOs we urge AT LOCAL LEVEL : public authorities to ensure that the voucher schemesAffordable, accessible community-based services that develop into long-term quality jobs.empower and involve local citizens can help reducepoverty and social exclusion. For example, early- AT EUROPEAN LEVEL :years education and care services can help to break Combating poverty and inequalities and the defencethe intergenerational transmission of poverty and of fundamental rights should be the main aims of theprovide a healthy environment for the development Europe 2020 strategy. This should be delivered throughof young children and strengthening parenting skills a balanced architecture (economic, employment,through empowerment and social networking. environmental and social), which reinforces the role of the EU Social Protection (pensions, health and long-Examples: Family card. The city of Modena (IT) has an term care) and Social Inclusion Strategies.innovative way to support families. Those with threeor more children under 18 years of age and annual Examples: Important future initiatives of theincome of less than €80,000 can receive a “Family European Union should be:Card”. Through this popular free-of-charge scheme • A Framework Directive on Adequate Minimumparticipating companies offer benefits to registered Income, building on the Council’s 92 Recommendationfamilies. and the Active Inclusion Recommendation of 3 October 2008. AT NATIONAL LEVEL : • A Framework Directive on Services of GeneralAll Member States should provide adequate minimum Interest, and sectoral directives on social and healthincome schemes to ensure a dignified life for services to ensure the implementation of publiceverybody all through the life cycle. Member states service obligations of accessibility, affordability andshould adopt clear targets for reducing poverty and quality of key public services.ensuring social progress. Public investment in services • A target for poverty reduction included in theneeds to be strengthened to create sustainable jobs in Europe 2020 Strategy.areas of key new social needs as well as green smart • Implementation of the Gender Pact to close thejobs, including support to Social Economy initiatives gender pay gap, improve reconciliation measuresand measures that facilitate the transmission of and provide for affordable, accessible and high-know-how, knowledge and skills (including literacy, quality care.digital, history, etc) from one generation to another. • A new integrated migration policy consistent withMeasures to achieve progress on work/life balance EU social model, and the safeguard of fundamentalmust be assured for all, in order to boost female rights, which ensures access to rights, resources andemployment and to combat poverty among single- services and aims to provide a transparent pathwayearner families, as well as elderly poverty and the to citizenship.increased feminisation of poverty. These should also • Structured stakeholder involvement, by putting inencompass the most vulnerable and those furthest place appropriate dialogue mechanisms so thatfrom the labour market. people experiencing poverty (including children, youth and the elderly), as well as their civil societyExample: Vouchers for moderate-income families. representatives, can voice their concerns aboutFrance is offering around 1.5 million moderate- policies directly affecting them.income families Ð200 worth of vouchers that canbe used to buy up to twenty hours of services suchas childminding or help for the elderly or disabled. 7
  8. 8. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of need to be better shared with the rest of the community through public funded schemes. FamiliesFamily Policies can no longer be left alone with the duty to care for their dependent relatives and special attention needs to be paid to families who face additional challenges T he reliance on families to be the “natural expression of intergenerational solidarity” is such as lone parents and large families who are at a higher risk of poverty. Most families wish to take on their responsibilities, but they cannot fulfil that challenged by today’s changes in role alone. They need support from public solidarity family structures, composition and through integrated, holistic and sustainable family diversity of family forms. policies based on the three main elements that all families need - resources, time, and services. FamilyCoupled with increased mobility this makes it more policies ought to support all generations: children,difficult for different generations who can no longer youth, parents and elderly people, taking due accountcare for each other as used to be the case in the past. of the gender dimension and specific role that womenFamilies have long been held responsible for the play within families. They should also specificallycare of children, grandchildren, disabled, dependent support families of persons with disabilities.and/or elderly relatives. However, this was very Family policies are still unevenly developed acrossoften at the expense of gender equality as women the European Union and are often limited to policieswere expected to bear the sole responsibility for supporting parents with young children, when incaring for their relatives, a contribution which is still fact they should encompass a much broader visionundervalued and unrecognised. of families, and address the needs of families with dependent elderly and intergenerational issues as a whole. Leaving family carers to provide all the care for dependent elderly people undermines their social inclusion (poverty risk), health (physical and/or mental exhaustion) and gender equality (most family carers are still women). The trend to ‘outsource’ care to migrant carers – primarily women, is causing inequalities among women and families of lower socio-economic income. Public authorities at all levels should design and implement family-friendly policies and programmes that recognise the changing nature and diversity of family structures and forms, and geographical distances that prevent families from providing care and support to their dependent relatives. BetterThe objectives of equality between women and measures enabling reconciliation of work life andmen and increased female labour market together family life are crucial, in an integrated approachwith changes in family structures and demographic combining accessible, affordable, high quality childchallenges, mean that this vision needs to be chal- and elder care services and fully-paid and non-lenged and responsibilities for dependent persons transferable family care leave. 8
  9. 9. Recommendations them with support and help. Specific measures in support of family carers encompass advisory services, AT LOCAL LEVEL : payment of pension insurance contributions for thoseLocal authorities should develop services supporting below 65, respite care and support for the adaptationfamilies, such as affordable and accessible quality of the house and technical aids. It has enabled achild and elder care services adapted to different massive development of home-based care and helpneeds of increasing multi-family forms. They should services, and family advice and support services.also promote local programmes which supportintergenerational solidarity within an extended AT EUROPEAN LEVEL :concept of families. Although family policies are not of the competence of the European Union, they relate directly to many EUExample: the Substitute Grandparent Scheme in policies, such as gender equality, social inclusion, etc.Denmark. A number of Danish municipalities have Family policies should be promoted by the Europeanimplemented a scheme enabling senior volunteers Union, through exchanges of best practices, policyacting as substitute grandparents to take care of ill coordination, and funding. Reinforcing the Barcelonachildren when parents do not have the possibility to Targets on Childcare4 by taking into consideration thetake time off from work 3. It aims both at relieving results of the evaluation5 in the new European 2020families and helping them with childcare in connection Strategy is crucial.with illness, and at promoting active ageing andintergenerational solidarity. Similar initiatives are Example: EU toolkit “Partnerships for more family-implemented by local non governemtal organisations friendly living and working conditions”6. In 2007, thein other regions of the European Union. European Union established the European Alliance for Families, i.e. a platform for exchanges and AT NATIONAL LEVEL : knowledge concerning family-friendly policies andNational authorities should respond better to the best practices in the Member States, with a viewproblems of family carers including older generations, to meeting the challenges of demographic change.who are still too widely treated as just part of the Through the Alliance, the EU also intended to fosterlong-term care cost-cutting equation to the expense extensive cooperation and partnership between allof gender equality, disregarding the risks of poverty, stakeholders in order to achieve a better balancingsocial exclusion and health problems that informal of professional, family and private life, including thecarers face. Supporting policies targeting family carers development of partnerships making use of newmust be developed and implemented. resources made available by the Structural Funds. TheExample: the Long-Term Care Insurance Act in European Commission has published a toolkit on howLuxembourg. One of the objectives of the Long- to obtain support from the European Structural fundsTerm Care Insurance Act 1998 in Luxembourg is to for local projects promoting family-friendly living andacknowledge the role informal carers and provide working environment. 3 http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/emplweb/families/index. Did you know that : cfm?id=7&langId=en&newsId=18&d_t=yes 4 Agreed in 2002 by the European Council to reach by 2010, 33% of According to almost two-thirds childcare infrastructure for children in the 0-3 age category and 90% of EU citizens, people with a of place for the over 3 – mandatory school age 5 European Commission, Implementation of the Barcelona objectives responsibility of care for older concerning childcare facilities for pre-school age children,, family members at home do not COM(2008) 598, October 2008 receive sufficient support from 6 EU toolkit “Partnerships for more family-friendly living and working conditions”: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId= social services. (Flash Eurobarometer en&pubId=72&furtherPubs=yes on Intergenerational Solidarity, April 2009) 9
  10. 10. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of tings, but adults can also learn a lot from children and younger generations. A comprehensive approach toEducation Policy education and care goes much beyond school curricu- lum and formal education and focuses also on the de- velopment of social and emotional skills at home and I n todays knowledge-based society education plays a more crucial role than ever. Education in its broadest in community environments. Listening to and valuing the voice of children can add value to an adult’s per- spective whilst it is also important to instill in children sense begins at birth and ends at an understanding and respect for adults’ knowledge death. The concept of life-long learning and experience. Investment in education throughout has achieved broad consensus across the life-cycle will reap long-term benefits for society. Faced with demographic changes, we need to ensure the EU and it is now acknowledged that that every child, young person, adult and elderly per- high quality, inclusive education is the son is able to fulfil her/his true potential and ensure basis of social integration and mobility. that learning experiences are possible into their old age and throughout their lives. Education should also be a means of ensuring greater contact, exchange and respect between the generations. Recommendations AT LOCAL LEVEL : Comprehensive community services can play a very useful role in supporting intergenerational cooperation and solidarity. Courses and advice on parenting – in particular, how to support child development – employment and job training, and leisure activities are such examples. Local initiatives can provide support on three levels: (a) informal, creating and strengthening existing social bonds andIt should promote equality of opportunity and respect encouraging new links between parents and theirfor diversity and should be based on a holistic view families, neighbours and friends; (b) semi-formal,of development and self-realisation. Investment in empowering parents’ and children’s associations andeducation therefore needs to take place throughout NGOs, and activating a range of self-help and otherthe life-cycle from early childhood education and community-based groups and services; (c) formal,care to offering lifelong learning opportunities to facilitating access to public services. In all instances,older people including the very old. there is a need to adopt an approach based on consultation and intergenerational dialogue.From a rights-based perspective, every individualhas a unique contribution to make to society which Example: In Belgium, a crèche for pre-school childrenevolves throughout the life-cycle. Education can be is located next door to a residential home for theseen as an expression of inter-generational solidarity. elderly. The elderly residents can volunteer to help theIn a traditional sense, children and young people professionals working with the young children. Thelearn from adults in formal care and education set- crèche is allowed to use part of the garden facilities 10
  11. 11. of the residential home for the elderly. This informal acquired outside of the formal education structurescontact is beneficial for both the young children and is necessary, such as the “validation of acquiredthe elderly. experiences” mechanisms that exist in some countries.Example: Experimental University for grand-parents and grand-children in the Czech Republic. Example: Community Schools in the Netherlands playThis intergenerational educational project was an important part in implementing local social policy,launched in co-operation with the Mathematics/ which focuses on activating the neighbourhood andPhysics Faculty of Charles University in academic its residents, and on encouraging them to contribute toyear 2004/2005. The aim is to enable grand-children their neighbourhood’s organisation and functioning.aged 6-12 and their grand-parents to study together The activities include pre-school care, after-schoolunder the guidance of university lecturers. Later the care, leisure activities, and courses for parents andproject was carried on with the Faculty of Forestry of grand-parents, among others.the Czech Agricultural University and the Faculty of AT EUROPEAN LEVEL :Natural Sciences of Charles University. Grand-parents Education must be understood in its broadest senseand grand-children work together as a team, helping and not narrowly defined to meet the labour-marketand advising each other. Summer camps are also needs only. Equally important are measures thatorganised during school holidays. support the development of language, reading- AT NATIONAL LEVEL : writing and technological skills, empowerment andEducation systems must adapt to our changing social capacity building skills, Investment in high-quality,and demographic reality. Different options must accessible and affordable early years’ education andbe available that can adapt to different individual care services should be prioritised and the Barcelonapatterns of learning and different stages in learning. targets7 on childcare should be re-confirmed. TheEducation opportunities – both formal and non-formal effectiveness of Europe’s education systems should– must be available at all stages of the life-cycle. This be monitored not only on cognitive skills andis particularly important for women many of whom readiness for employment, but also on citizens’ socialspend years out of the formal education systems due and communication skills and well-being8.to caring responsibilities and yet their skills learned Example: Volunteering Programmes. Followingin informal settings are not valued under the strict the success of the European Voluntary Service forformal education definition. Similarly, women pass young people a similar exchange opportunity ison useful informal educational skills to younger now available for seniors. After retirement, mostgenerations. Therefore, validation of informal skills senior citizens still want to learn and contribute to society. Many actively volunteer in civic organisations in their local community. The European exchange programme gives older people the opportunity to Did you know that : travel and extend their social network whilst also 25% of children in the EU contributing to a worthwhile cause. Many projects do not complete secondary involve volunteers from old and young generations, school; 15% of young people strengthening inter-generational solidarity. have only lower secondary education; university graduates 7 earn 120% of national median Presidency conclusions, Barcelona European Council, 15-16/03/2002, document SN 100/1/02 REV 1: “provide childcare income, but 7% of university graduates are by 2010 to at least 90% of children between 3 years old and the at risk of poverty; family poverty is linked mandatory school age and at least 33% of children under 3 years of age" to poor educational outcomes; a significant 8 European Commission, 2008, “Improving Competences for the higher number of women compared to men 21st Century: an Agenda for European Cooperation on Schools”, achieve university education but women http://www.lex.unict.it/eurolabor/en/documentation/com/2008/ com(2008)-425en.pdf still earn on average 18% less than men. 11
  12. 12. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of and beyond, the modes of producing and consuming should evolve towards a low resource economy, whilethe Environment at the same time promoting quality “green” jobs.and Sustainable RecommendationsDevelopment AT LOCAL LEVEL : Many environmental issues are rooted in a local context. Local and regional authorities play a key S olidarity between generations is clearly at the core of the concept of sustainable development. role through the environmental, social and economic decisions they take and the way they implement national and international policies at the local level. They should also play a strong role in educating allAs the Brundlandt Report stated already in 1983, generations and different social groups that compose"Sustainable development is development that meets the local population and raise awareness of the needthe needs of the present without compromising the to promote sustainable development.11ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Example: Copenhagen’s climate plan. Many citiesToo little is known of health effects resulting from around the world have adopted their own climateexposure to ambient chemicals. There is however plans. The city of Copenhagen for example hasincreasing evidence of a wide-scale and long-term decided to launch 50 initiatives by 2015 to reducedifferentiated effects of low dose contamination by their CO2 emission by 20% with the goal of becomingendocrine disruptive chemicals on girls and boys a carbon neutral city by 202512. ICLEI, the internationalreproductive health.9 These will indeed be more association of local governments for sustainabilityseriously affected by the effects of climate change and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) havebecause of the cumulative effect of CO2 concentration, launched a programme called Carbonn to furtherand issues such as nuclear waste, the use of pesticides, the development of low carbon and sustainableaccess to safe drinking water and sanitation10 and the communities and cities. It aims at helping cities byozone depletion will also have long term effects. providing climate expertise, especially with regards toPeople of all generations need to be involved in the carbon emission monitoring. These initiatives involvedecision-making processes on environmental issues. the consultation of various stakeholders at local level,Education for sustainable development is key to a including youth.change of mindset and should target all age groups AT NATIONAL LEVEL :in an interactive way. Long term action should involve Member States must reinforce their sustainableyounger generations not only because they will have development strategies and ensure proper integrationto live with the consequences of climate change, but of all relevant sectors and the mainstreaming ofbecause they are the decision-makers of tomorrow sustainable development into all policies. They mustand they can contribute to finding the right solutions adopt quantified targets and closely monitor thetoday. Think globally – act locally, ambitious andadequate policies to achieve sustainable developmentat local, national and European level are a prerequisiteto ensure that the right decisions are made today toprotect and promote a healthy and sustainable global Did you know that :environment for the generations of tomorrow. . So as to "Sustainable development isnot compromise the future of young people in Europe development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, (Environment Chapter: Brundlandt Report, 1983) 12
  13. 13. AT EUROPEAN LEVEL : The EU must continue its implementation of the 2006 renewed strategy for sustainable development14, and continue evaluating and monitoring its progress. It should also ensure an effective implementation of EU sustainable development goals through the EUimplementation of the strategies. National Councils for 2020 Strategy Sustainable Growth objective. The EUsustainable development must be created where they especially needs to strengthen its role in combatingdo not yet exist, taking into consideration a gender climate change by adopting more fair and adequatebalance as well as representative views of different targets and funding resources and mechanisms,social, ethnic and religious minority groups, and they and by playing a leading role at internationalneed to involve youth, and other citizens’ categories. level. Throughout its activities, it must strengthenCountries are also encouraged to design official youth stakeholders’ contribution to the drafting of policiesdelegates’ programmes, in accordance with several and in the monitoring of their implementation andUN General Assembly’s recommendations, and include a gender perspective as part of genderinvolve youth delegates into their national delegations mainstreaming treaty obligations.to the UN CSD, UNFCCC COPs, and other relevant fora. Example: One of the key areas to achieve sustainableMechanisms to ensure that children’s voices are given development is sustainable consumption and production.a space in national sustainable development strategies In this field the European Union issued a communicationshould also be put in place. and has developed the European eco-label scheme. ItExample: official youth delegates programmes. started in 1992 as a voluntary scheme but it is nowAn excellent example to strengthen both citizens’ a fast growing brand. It focuses on several crucialand youth participation is through the official youth criteria and applies to a wide range of products whichdelegates programmes set up by some governments encourages the producers to be more sustainablein the EU and worldwide. The Netherlands for in order to gain the label and which enables theinstance have for years been selecting two young consumers to easily identify the products which meetpeople to be official youth delegates for sustainable high environmental and performance standards.development, who act as official delegates in the While raising awareness on sustainable productionnational delegation to the United Nations Commission and consumption In 2010, the European Parliamenton Sustainable Development (UNCSD), and also attend and the Council adopted the regulation 66/2010 onother meetings such as the United Nations Framework the EU eco label which aims at developing the labelConvention on Climate Change’s Conference of Parties further and especially by increasing the amount of(UNFCCC COP). They are given training, opportunities products in the market.to speak at various national events, and also act asyouth champions on sustainable development bypromoting it in schools and conferences. Another 9 See European Women’s Lobby From Beijing to Brussels, angood practice is the set up of national councils for unfinished journey, The European Women’s Lobby Beijing +15 reportsustainable development, such as the one in France on the activities of the European Union, section K. Women and thewhere the Council advises the government on the environment, February 2010 10implementation of SD polices and consists of 90 In some rural areas in the EU Member States (notably Bulgaria and Romania), centralized drinking water supply and seweragemembers from local authorities, business, trade systems are still lackingunions, environmental NGOs, social and consumer 11 Local Agenda 21: Agenda 21, chapter 28associations, and academia13. 12 Copenhagen Climate Plan. www.c40cities.org/docs/ccap- copenhagen-030709.pdf 13 Contributions of the Regional and Local Authorities to Sustainable Development Strategies, Committee of the Regions, 2009 14 Review of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS- - Renew Strategy. DOC 10917/06 13
  14. 14. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of age, marital status, socio-economic status and other grounds of discrimination interconnect with genderImmigration and and result in women’s acute sense of isolation and alienation in the societies in which they live.Integration The absence of family networks and close support systems, stigmatisation and discrimination prevent women from some migrant communities from E uropean societies have become increasingly more diverse. accessing the formal labour-market and participating in all areas of life.Solidarity between generations is clearly at the Engaging migrant and minority communities incore of the concept of sustainable development. intergenerational solidarity initiatives together withIn recent years, immigration has become a central majority communities is crucial to break down harmfultheme in the EU political debate. It is acknowledged stereotypes, to bring communities closer together,that migration will have a role in the future in dispel myths and create public space for dialogue.relation to demographic and economic challengesfacing the EU - such as skills and labour shortages Recommendationsand an ageing population. However, in some AT LOCAL LEVEL :countries migration is still seen as a threat and Local authorities must address cultural andthe focus is predominantly on border control, and gender stereotyping by creating public spaces forcontrol of ‘illegal’ immigration. Such a vision is intergeneration and multicultural exchanges at localin contradiction with an approach that allows for level, i.e. the level closest to minority and majoritymutual benefits of migrant and host communities communities that cohabit together in the sameand views migrants as individuals with equal rights geographical space. They can facilitate and supportthat have to be valued and protected. migrant and minority communities to develop andEthnic and religious minorities and migrants across expand intergenerational projects and initiatives.Europe are still amongst the groups most vulnerable They should also take on board the cultural dimensionto poverty and social exclusion. In this context, one of when promoting intergenerational housing and urbanthe biggest challenges facing the European Union is planning.to ensure the social and economic inclusion of ethnic Example: The Multicultural Care Centre for Nicosia’sand religious minority communities, and to tackle the Children is a free day-care centre for children ofcontinuing and persistent discrimination, stereotypes migrant women, set up in July 2008 in Cyprus. Itand prejudices faced by Roma, Sinti and Travellers, provides care, food, play facilities and learningnew migrants, established minorities of immigrant environments for children aged 5-12 whose mothersorigin, asylum seekers and other minority groups. are permanent residents of Cyprus with work permits.Integration policies are part of the immigration- The Centre’s activities were jointly funded by theequation and while these are implemented at national EU and Nicosia municipality. 20 mothers, includinglevel, the EU provides Common Basic Principles15underlining the importance of a holistic approach tointegration. Did you know that :Among migrant communities and ethnic minority “Frequent interaction betweengroups, women are often at a greater disadvantage immigrants and Member Statethan men as intersectional factors of race, ethnicity, citizens is a fundamental mech- anism for integration” (Common Basic Principle number 7 for immigrant integra- tion policy in the EU) 14
  15. 15. Russian, Congolese, Armenian, Iraqi, Romanian,Filipino and Georgian nationals, benefited from itsservices in 200816. AT NATIONAL LEVEL :National authorities have a crucial role to play inpromoting diversity in the community and in thelabour market. Teaching respect for diversity muststart at a very early age and early years services shouldrecognise, respect and positively value diversity. Publicauthorities should ensure that migrant and minoritycommunities, including women’s organisations, areconsulted and an integral part of the social inclusion AT EUROPEAN LEVEL :policies. Increasing diversity in the staff of public The EU should adopt a new strategy for the EU 2020authorities and social services help them get closer based on fundamental rights, with a strong socialto minorities, better integrate their needs and fight pillar that places the human dimension, equality, anti-against their exclusion. This is vital in combating the discrimination, social cohesion and intergenrational‘ghettoisation’ of migrant and minority communities. solidarity at its heart. Integration of ethnicFinally they can raise awareness on creative initiatives minorities and the promotion of diversity should beof social solidarity developed by migrant and minority mainstreamed in all relevant EU programmes.communities Example: INTEGRATION – Intercultural Dialogue forExample: “Three-Generation-Project – Health with a Multicultural Society in Europe project seeks toMigrants and for Migrants”: This Project started improve the intercultural competence of pedagogicalin Lower Saxony in September 2008 and aims to staff and teachers in different institutionaltrain committed men and women with a migrant environments in Europe as well as that of their targetbackground to become inter-cultural health groups. Its ‘train the trainer’ course offers a numbercare mediators. The trained mediators have the of innovative approaches, methodologies and tools ofresponsibility to pass on their knowledge in their intercultural education, such as the analysis of criticalcommunities through offering courses on healthcare. incidents, role-play based on intercultural experiencesTherefore the training contains facilitation techniques and short online videos on ‘intercultural microand course planning. The “Three-Generation-Project” communications’. Training material was developedis a significant milestone in improving the health care in cooperation with migrants and is now partiallyand health awareness for migrants as basic attitudes available on the project’s e-learning platform. Theconcerning health and elementary knowledge on idea behind the project is that intercultural activitieshealth are passed on from grandparents and parents can alleviate possible isolation and help migrants getto the children.17 The financial support for the project in contact with people both from their host countrycomes from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Women, and of other ethnic origins. For more information:Family and Health but also from other sources such as http://www.integration-eu.orgthe Lander and the Federal Government.Further information: ethno@onlinehome.de 15 Council of the European Union, Common Basic Principles, November 2004 16 Maria-Christina Doulami, ‘Helping the Kids Belong.’ Cyprus Mail 14 September 2008, available at www.cyprus-mail.com/news, accessed May 2009 17 ”ethnomarketing.de”, http://www.ethnomarketing.de/ deutschland/5-drei-generationen-projekt-gesundheit-mit- migranten-fuer-migranten-startet-landesweit.html, accessed 15.5.2009 15
  16. 16. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of to deliver an environment that is supportive and inclusive of all. Public, private and collective conceivedHousing and Urban spaces to foster cooperation and solidarity between generations and between social, ethnic and religiousDevelopment minority groups. Various initiatives carried out by community associations and/or housing providers aim to foster greater A decent home is an essential need and access to affordable and quality housing is one of the main cohesion in their communities: for example, the inter-generational housing model seeks to promote the mutual interests of all generations involved and determinants of people’s well-being and to enable them to provide each other with mutual social participation. support and services. There are mainly two types of intergenerational housing: 1) shared housing, whichTo this important acknowledgement by the 2010 brings together several generations in one housingJoint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion, development in order to share costs (for example awe should add that livable urban space and a housing lower rent for young residents in exchange for servicesstock which meets the needs of all generations is provided to the older residents); and 2) adaptedequally crucial for people’s well being and social housing, which aims to adapt the built environmentparticipation. and the dwelling to enable different generations to live in the same building. For public authorities and housing providers, the question should not be limited to “what type of housing should we build?” but rather “where should we build housing?” and “how do we want to organise our cities and communities to better meet the needs and expectations of all those living in our community?” Recommendations AT LOCAL LEVEL :Too often, in many places across Europe, public space Some experiences that attempt to create a specific(the streets and transport systems), collective space environment for older people have been criticised(common recreational areas in private properties) as a ‘segregation trap’. The risk of ghettoisation ofand private space (the home) are not adapted to elderly people whether they are rich or poor, is not athe needs of today’s young people, families with stereotype but a real tendency in some cities.young children, single parents and older people. Other localities on the contrary have understoodThis bears an increasing risk of ghettoisation of some the importance of an age mixed community and trydisadvantaged groups. Cohesive communities are to attract different age groups by creating adaptedthose which respond to the needs of all and which intergenerational housing in urban centres or topromote cooperation between the different groups develop shared intergenerational housing in ruralthat compose them. To foster cohesion, housing areas, where affordable rents, better transportpolicy must be coordinated with other policies connection and availability of new technologies can 16
  17. 17. create incentives for young workers to share a house to renovate their homes to allow an older relativewith older generations to live with them. Such loans can also be used to create a separate dwelling for the elderly, next toExample: Integration of intergenerational aspect in the younger relatives’ apartment/house. Interesthousing and urban planning. More and more, regional rates vary according to the composition of the familyand local housing and urban planning are increasingly (number of dependent persons) and its disposabletaking into account the ageing dimension. The UK income.strategy “Lifetime homes, Lifetime neighbourhoods”contains tools and recommendations for local AT EUROPEAN LEVEL :authorities to aid planning, for example projections Based on existing experience in the field ofof older households and their size at district level. intergenerational housing, the promotion ofThe city of Longwy in France surveyed the actual intergenerational solidarity should be integratedroutes and services used by elderly people and set as an objective of the EU urban developmentup a plan to ensure better accessibility. Lastly, the programmes (such as URBACT), interregionalWorld Health Organisation developed a methodology cooperation programmes but also in the EU ruralcalled Age Friendly Cities to help municipalities development policy implemented in the nationaladapt to the needs of their ageing population. The rural development programmes (LEADER) to combatchecklist of essential features of an age-friendly city the severe marginalisation of elderly people in ruralwas developed following a consultation in 33 cities areas.in 22 countries18. Those features seek to create an Example: Promoting intergenerational solidarity asintergenerational environment. part of integrated urban development. The URBACT II AT REGIONAL/NATIONAL LEVEL : programme financed a network of 9 European citiesNational/regional authorities can launch programmes working on ageing issues. The network is called activeand initiatives which support a better age mix A.G.E. This project seeks to develop an exchangeand greater cooperation and solidarity between of experience between these cities to help themgenerations. Such measures include tax incentives, develop an action plan for an integrated approach toloans and support to new job creation aiming at labour market and social policies for older people19. Atproviding personal services for older people the same time, another thematic network composed of European cities, My Generation, seeks to focus onExample: Financial incentives for intergenerational identifying three sets of good practices related to:housing. In Wallonia (Belgium), the Fonds du outreach for deprived categories of youth, educationLogement Wallon provides loans to families who wish - employment transition and coordination among actors when promoting youth interests in urban contexts20. Did you know that : For 26% of EU citizens the fact that decent housing is too expensive is the social factor that best explains why people are poor. In the EU as a whole, the im- pact of housing costs is more than twice as important for the poor as for the non-poor population (33% vs. 17%). 18 http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/Age_friendly_cities_ Over 27% of low-income people live in checklist.pdf 19 overcrowded accommodation, as opposed http://urbact.eu/en/projects/active-inclusion/active-age/ our-project/ to 15% of the rest of the population. 20 http://urbact.eu/en/projects/active-inclusion/my-generation/ (Joint Report on Social Inclusion and Social Protec- our-project/ tion, 2010) 17
  18. 18. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of transport facilities have become of paramount importance for people of all ages: school age children,Transport and families with young children, people commuting to and from work, older people, and people with reducedMobility mobility, etc. When such initiatives are implemented, they contribute a lot to creating greater solidarity between citizens and between generations, and help M any cities and municipalities are faced with huge mobility challenges. Millions of citizens waste improve safe mobility participation and inclusion of all, particularly the most vulnerable. several hours every day in traffic jams and this has a heavy cost for Recommendations the economy, the environment general AT LOCAL LEVEL : well-being and the quality of Local/regional authorities should make sustainable relationships between generations. and accessible transport one of their key priorities and set concrete targets for the coming years. UsefulRoad safety is a key problem which deserves tools have been developed which can be used byeveryone’s attention to protect the most vulnerable local/regional actors to evaluate the accessibility ofroad users. Each year, more than 1100 children under public transport (see for ex. The Review of existingthe age of 15 are killed on European roads and 100 initiatives and methods to assess public transport000 are injured. Some 17% of all traffic fatalities in accessibility developed by the MEDIATE project:EU countries are pedestrians and people aged 65 http://www.mediate-project.eu/fileadmin/WP_or older account for the largest share of fatalities. Material/MEDIATE_D21_Review_Report_final.pdf).The quality of air is very poor in congested urban Address: See ‘useful links’ section.areas and this has a direct impact on the health ofmillions of children and adults who develop pollution Local/regional actors should make better use of EUrelated respiratory problems. Additionally, the lack funding opportunities such as the Structural Funds,of adequate transportation facilities, as well as the the FP7 Sustainable Surface Transport programmeprohibitive cost, may hinder the social participation or the Rural Development Policy initiative which allof certain groups, as well as their access to the labour offer opportunities for local actors to improve theirmarket. transport infrastructure (see page 16 of Ageing well in Europe brochure at http://www.age-platform.eu/To cope with these challenges, public authoritiesshould do their utmost to encourage citizens to shiftto more sustainable and safer means of transportsuch as public transport, walking and cycling, to helplimit urban congestion, improve road safety and Did you know that :reduce pollution. A recent study on transport systems Urban mobility is of growingin several Member States identified a differentiated concern to citizens. Nine out ofuse of public transport by women and men. Whereas ten EU citizens believe that themen tend to use more private cars, wo–men tend traffic situation in their area shouldto use more public transport as they generally have be improved. The choices that peo-smaller incomes, less leisure time and consume less.21 ple make in the way they travel willIn today’s context of climate change and increased affect not only future urban developmentmobility needs, adequate, accessible and affordable but also the economic well-being of citizens and companies. It will also be essential for the success of the EU’s overall strategy to combat climate change, achieve the 20- 20-20 objective and to promote cohesion. (EC Action Plan on Urban Mobility, 2009) 18
  19. 19. images/stories/EN/AGE-CoR_Brochure_on_Ageing_ AT EUROPEAN LEVEL :Well_in_Europe-EN.pdf) address: See ‘useful links’ In the framework of the upcoming European Disabilitysection. Strategy 2010-2020, Member States should agree to develop common accessibility standards for allExample: Traffic and Mobility Plan. Odense (Denmark) public transport modes based on the concept ofhas just launched a new Traffic and Mobility Plan which “Design for All”.gives a unique opportunity to create a new, livablecity. The plan focuses on giving better opportunitiesto citizens to walk, cycle and use public transport asan alternative to the car. The city wants to reducecar traffic primarily by prevent cars without an errandto go through the city. More of the small parkingplaces will be transformed into places, which willgive citizens a chance to take a break, rest, or look atdifferent kinds of activity such as music, theatre etc.(For more information: http://www.aeneas-project.eu/?page=odensemobilityplan). AT NATIONAL LEVEL :Member states should devote efforts to achieveseamless, reliable and affordable mobility for all.Investments in such initiatives should be supportedby the national authorities given their essential role inthe promotion of sustainable economic developmentand include a gender perspective as women havedifferent mobility needs than men. In the context of the planned European Road SafetyExample: The Easy-Going project (Germany): The Action Programme 2011-2020, Member States shouldgoal of the “easy-going” project is to bring together commit to exchange good practice and improve roadexisting scientific expertise, practical ideas and safety for all, including the most vulnerable users:creativity potentials in the field of barrier-free children, older people, persons with disabilities,mobility. Barrier-free mobility means that both pedestrians, cyclists). Agreeing national targetsthe structural environment and the transportation for the reduction of road injuries and exchangingsystem can be used by as many people as possible information on measures which have proved efficientwithout requesting external assistance (in the sense would be very useful.of a “design for all”-concept). The project “easy.going” is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Example: MEDIATE (Methodology for describingTransportation, Construction and Urban Development the accessibility of transport in Europe) aims to(BMVBS) within its innovation programme “Economy establish a common European methodology formeets Science” (grant no. 03WWBE057A). For more measuring accessibility to public transport. Theinformation; http://www.easy.going-network.de aim of this EU funded project is to contribute to the creation of inclusive transport systems providing better and easier access for all citizens. For more information: http://www.mediate-project.eu 21 See European Women’s Lobby From Beijing to Brussels, an unfinished journey, The European Women’s Lobby Beijing +15 report on the activities of the European Union, section K. Women and the environment, February 2010 19
  20. 20. Intergenerational Solidarity in the context of Intergenerational solidarity can be a valuable tool for an efficient transfer and transmission of knowledgeQuality Working Life benefiting both younger workers as well as more experienced ones. This should be more widely acknowledged and supported to allow the mutual T oday’s social, economic and demographic context requires that urgent action is taken to facilitate acquisition of knowledge and experience. Barriers between the age groups in the workplace need to be broken down and employers as well as trade unions young people’s entry into quality employment as early as possible after need to support a more positive image of younger their studies in order to allow them to and older workers. become autonomous and to enable older workers to remain involved in the Recommendations labour market even after retirement if AT LOCAL LEVEL : they so wish. Local governments should explore new forms of intergenerational cooperation in employment andThis is necessary to mitigate the impact of remove barriers which prevent younger and olderdemographic ageing and the shrinkage of our workers from accessing and remaining in the labourworking age population. All forms of discrimination market. For instance, they should ensure that trainingin employment should be banned and a more and retraining are available to all workers irrespectiveinclusive approach to workers of all ages needs to of their age and implement mentoring programmesbe promoted if we are to allow everyone to enjoy which enable older workers and the recently retiredequal opportunities in employment as well as to pass on their knowledge and skills to youngereffectively address the challenges facing our social workers.protection systems. Example: Mentoring: For several years now a newPolicies and initiatives supporting decent jobs for all, model –mentoring- of sharing work-related know-including young and older workers, and addressing the how has been developing. The objective is for oldergender pay gap should be set in place and explored workers and younger retirees to transmit their skillsat local, national and European levels. For example, to younger workers. Through mentoring, an olderstudents should be enabled to gain practical work worker introduces a younger worker to his/her socialexperience with more experienced workers in such and professional environment, a valuable aid in manyways that it is possible to balance study and work life. occupations where contacts and networking areInternships should offer young people opportunities essential. Mentoring is highly valued by older workersfor professional development while ensuring they and recently retired workers because it allows themhave the means to support themselves, rather than to make use of their professional skills and maintainbe exploited as a cheap labour force. A life-cycle contact with the work environment.approach to employment should be promoted thataddresses school drop-out, successful integration ofyoung people in the labour market but also enablesactive ageing allowing older workers to remain Did you know that :in employment and combine part-time work with • Youth unemployment is asretirement for those who wish to remain active high as 21,4% and the em-for longer. ployment rate of older people is only 46,2% (EC data from 3Q, 2009) • The average employment rate of women between the ages of 55- 64 years in the EU is 36.8%, 18% lower than men in the same age category 20
  21. 21. Example: Companionship. Retired craftsmen teach varying family responsibilities, and potential forthe young the skills of their trade and strive to pass mentoring. They feel that the age mix helps staffon their skills, knowledge and passion for their job members in these groups to be mutually enriched.to future generations. Carpenters, cabinet-makers,masons, electricians, etc. who often acquired theirtrade on the job, seek to help young people, oftenthose experiencing difficulties at school, to find theirvocation. AT NATIONAL LEVEL :In the context of an increasing sense of precariousnesswith regards to Member States’ employment policies,social protection and financial systems, active stepsmust be taken to address the fears and expectationsof Europe’s younger and older workers. This couldbe achieved in part through the adoption of amore positive approach to promoting age-friendly AT EUROPEAN LEVEL :workplaces and the development of employment The new Europe 2020 Employment initiatives shouldpolicies which take a life-cycle approach to work and seek to reinforce the links between generationsthe removal of age discrimination in labour-market and increase participation rates through sustainablepolicies. Public employment services and assistance quality employment of all gender and age groups towith job seeking should be adapted to respond ensure the long-term sustainability of Europe’s socialbetter to the needs of the individual jobseeker protection systems.regardless of their age, and these services should be The EU should develop and monitor a European Qualityequally accessible in rural areas and for people with Framework on Internships that sets basic qualitydisabilities. requirements to ensure their learning dimension andSupport should also be provided for self-employment an appropriate remuneration and social protection.and entrepreneurship through the simplification Intergenerational mentoring schemes and initiativesof procedures and the provision of financial and to promote longer working lives such as job sharingother start-up support targeted at young and older and phased retirement should be promoted byentrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship education should relevant EU programmes.be further developed in close cooperation with civil Example: PATRON Projectsociety organisations. This Grundtvig project (see ‘useful links’) identifies andExample: Centrica - Age management policy (UK). tests ways to transfer skills that senior managers andCentrica, a large-scale UK gas supplier, is attempting entrepreneurs have developed in their working livesto encourage age diversity among its labour force by which have helped them to develop their creativity,setting up various measures such as its Age Action competitiveness, management and entrepreneurialGroup which brings together the managers of various capacities. Young entrepreneurs and managerssections to see how they, as a group, can best meet benefit from this skills transfer in the participatingthe needs of their ageing work force. With this in countries and regions. The methods and resultsmind, they have developed an awareness-raising are disseminated through the project’s website, soprogramme on age management with flexible these can be used in other participating regions.working conditions, teams of different ages with For details: http://www.patronproject.org. 21