Articles » March 23rd 2006 - Demographic Challenges and Solidarity between the Generations
Speech to Parliament Brussels Thursday March 23rd 2006
Demographic Challenges and Solidarity between the Generations
The future lies with the young and we have a problem. Our generation is failing the young, too many of whom lack guidance, drift, waste opportunities, some are drawn into crime.
And yet the generations can relate, witness the camaraderie across the age range seen at the Turin Winter Olympics and at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, neither event owing anything to the EU.
Here we have another difficulty, the EU thinks problems can be solved by legislation and lengthy reports. But people change and you can not legislate for human nature,- for that's what it is-, interference is resented, the situation gets worse.
At the heart of all of this is the family. Even if the days of 3 generations living together have gone children often still relate well to grandparents, especially if they live nearby.
This week the Employment Committee debated migration within the EU, attempting to enable workers to move elsewhere for jobs. That sounds fine but who moves? too often the middle layer of the three generations, the breadwinners and parents of the rising generation,- and the guiding hand is missing.
Think again, if instead work was brought to communities family life would be consolidated and the young would have a more secure foundation, giving them a better chance in life, better job prospects resulting in enhanced contributions to fund pensions, and giving all of us a more settled society.
Derek Clark MEP
Brussels March 23 2006