Finding resources for family policies able to face the current demographic winter. This is the true challenge to make of the post-pandemic recovery a moment of regeneration for our Continent. This is the call made by the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) with an open letter signed by its President, Vincenzo Bassi, and addressed to all the Members of the European Council.
“If each of us are able – Bassi states – to fully fulfil our roles and take on our responsibilities, families and family networks, as fundamental and original parts of our communities, we will be able to face future economic difficulties with the right spirit of service”.
During the pandemic, FAFCE has repeatedly recalled how the families have been at the forefront at this time of the pandemic in facing new challenges every day (from home-schooling to taking care of the most vulnerable) and how the current crisis unveiled the family as the rock of people’s lives: “All those who were far from their family or did not have one, have suffered in a particularly strong way”.
“Why – FAFCE’s President asks himself – the construction of new infrastructures is rightly considered an essential investment in sustainable development, while the strengthening of our community networks via family policies should not be considered as an investment?”
RE: Open Letter to the Members of the European Council
Dear Mr President,
Dear Prime Minister,
We are pleased to see a glimpse of light towards a gradual way out of the crisis, thanks to, on the one hand, the goodwill of many, first and foremost the mothers and fathers who have been at the forefront at this time of the pandemic, and also thanks to the responsibility shown by the political leadership of the EU, during this very delicate moment, with its recent decisions. All this to ensure European citizens can face the current unprecedented times with hope.
If each of us are able to fully fulfil our roles and take on our responsibilities, families and family networks, as fundamental and original parts of our communities, we will be able to face future economic difficulties with the right spirit of service.
For this reason too, as President of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), I would like to contact you in this very challenging time, in which you are making such important decisions, together with your twenty-six colleagues from the European Council.
We can all agree on one point: no future and sustainable development will be possible without investing in human capital, thus courageously facing the current demographic winter. This is also a principle shared by the Conclusions adopted on the 21st of July and in those adopted on 8th of June on demographic challenges.
In addition, if it is true that no one wants an old and, ultimately, indebted Europe, then the fund called “Next Generation EU” must be aimed both at managing the present emergency and at providing future generations with the tools to overcome the challenges that history will inevitably pose on us.
The time has come to establish the need for a sustainable development program based on intergenerational balance, without which any economic plan is likely to be partial and therefore ineffective.
To do this, we must have the courage to make new choices, also starting from the simple adaptation of the economic categories to the current fiscal practices which consider spending that favours the demographic policies as expenditure and not as investment. With such an adjustment, the use of European funds aimed at demographic policies and human capital formation could be considered as a real investment, essential to development.
This is a small decision, which would have a great impact on the lives of families and on the future development of our communities, thus making the “Next Generation EU” fund an effective instrument of economic and social regeneration, for your country and for the whole of Europe.
In fact, it is only a question of having the courage to overcome an evident contradiction: why the construction of new infrastructures is rightly considered an essential investment in sustainable development, while the strengthening of our community networks via family policies should not be considered as an investment?
So, the European families gathered within FAFCE are simply asking you and your colleagues for the pragmatism of those who know that our Europe today needs future generations, more than ever before; and this means, concretely, demographic policies. This will allow us to be remembered as those who have faced the responsibility of the future, focusing, with hope and determination, on the joyful and procreative responsibility for our communities.
Brussels, 30 July 2020