Brussels, 2nd July 2024

Last week the European Council adopted its Strategic Agenda for the European Union from 2024 to 2029. FAFCE welcomes the emphasis that the Agenda places on the ecological, digital, and demographic transitions, as well as the focus on peace. These are topics that continue to be priorities for FAFCE, from this Spring’s Board resolution on ecology to the encouragement to consider the demographic winter as a transversal challenge.

FAFCE reiterates its policy priorities for the new legislature and the ongoing institutional transition. The five areas highlighted were the demographic winter, family as an investment, work-family balance, protection of children, and integral ecology.

Strategic Agenda

The Strategic Agenda correctly connects competiton and social cohesion with demography, declaring: “Economic growth needs to benefit all citizens. We will uphold the social dimension of the European Union so that everyone can seize the opportunities offered by the green and digital transitions. We will address in a comprehensive way demographic challenges and their impact on competitiveness, human capital and equality. We will ensure that the European economic model and welfare systems support a thriving longevity society. In this context, we will further strengthen health cooperation at European and international level and improve access to medicines across the Union”.

FAFCE’s President, Vincenzo Bassi, comments that “European institutions must recognise that families are not a cost but a vital investment in the future. The family is the basic cell of society, providing intergenerational solidarity and nurturing the next generation in service of the common good. Policies that support families are investments in human capital, economic growth, and social cohesion. In this time where loneliness is the new pandemic, social cohesion and the question of demography cannot be separated; we must build a Europe that works for young people, disabled people, and often-ignored rural areas. This is why at FAFCE we would propose that the responsibilities for social cohesion and demography are managed under the same office at the Commission”.

The election of the new President of the European Council 

FAFCE congratulates Antonio Costa on his election as the President of the European Council. The former Portuguese Prime Minister is due to serve in the role from 1 December 2024 until 31 May 2027. While Socialist Party leader, he led his nation’s government from 2015 to 2024. We wish him well in this period of institutional transition.