Brussels, the 12th of October 2023

Families should be the first priority of every political proposal, not on theoretical basis, but simply because they prepare the future of Europe. In this historical moment, where many are concerned by the direction that our world is taking, it is to be welcomed that the European Commission asks Member States to mainstream the demographic perspective across all policies. We hope that Member States will recognise this and that the next European legislators will build upon the work done until now”.

These were the words of the President of FAFCE, Vincenzo Bassi, following the publication, yesterday, of the European Commission published its Communication on Demographic change in Europe: a toolbox for actionas asked by the European Council, in its Conclusions, last June. The Commission calls on EU Member States “to put in place and implement integrated policies” in order to address the challenge of Europe’s demographic winter, and “mainstream demography concerns across all policies”. Recognising that everyone should be free to be able to choose both a career and a family, this policy document notes that while “there is a growing trend of young people to postpone the decision to start a family or limit its size (…). When asked, many of them, particularly highly educated women, indicate they would want to have more children than they actually do”.

FAFCE, hoping for a new European demographic spring, also welcomes the Commission dimension on family, youth and intergenerational solidarity, which touches upon several key points such as education, employment, work-life balance, loneliness, and mental health, among others. All fundamental elements of democracy and freedom, that FAFCE has been calling for through the last years.

Vincenzo Bassi concluded: “FAFCE has been advocating for years to better address the current demographic challenges to simply respond to a question of justice and freedom: the deepest desires of the youth need to be taken into account. We welcome as a step in the good direction the EU toolbox on demography, as it highlights the interconnections between the digital, green and demographic transitions, suggesting tools to address them globally. We look forward to exchanging with Vice-President Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, later this month: I wish to already thank her for her availability. I am sure we will have a fruitful exchange together with all FAFCE Members”.

This exchange will take place during a high-level seminar organised in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee, in the framework of the upcoming FAFCE Board Meeting, in Brussels, on the 25th of October.