April 29th, European Day of Intergenerational Solidarity

Young and old together for a more just, equal and sustainable society!

Other Publication

27/04/2020

Today we face a global civilizational crisis that can only be solved by unprecedented action on an unprecedented scale. To avert this crisis, we have to see our fates linked and make good on that insight. The culture of the atomized individual obsessed with wealth and power has turned out to be the path to destruction of our habitat and ourselves. Additionally, people of means have long preferred charity to solidarity. Under the virtuous sounding guise of charity, the rich and powerful can bestow kindness from on high, without feeling implicated in, or responsible for the systems that produce poverty and inequality. It is in the absence of any coherent social ethos of solidarity, that the rich will always ask why they should have to ‘give’ to undeserving others, and balk at having to pay their fair share.

It is time to adopt a fundamentally different vision of human enterprise and shared endeavour, if we truly care about our future. The idea of intergenerational solidarity describes the ways in which we are bound together and how we can act to change our way of life. Solidarity is not something you have, it is something you do. It is a set of actions taken toward a common goal: a sustainable society. Moreover, in solidarity we’ll be properly equipped to halt climate change, bringing welfare and prosperity for all.

It is time to counter with social actions and install that ethos of intergenerational solidarity. As older activists, we are proud to be part of a movement that helped bring about many social successes for all people: accessible health care, social security, public education, improved working conditions, etc. Unfortunately, the dominant neo-liberal paradigm at the moment is eroding these achievements gradually. Yet we know what can be achieved by being committed to shared goals.

Consequently, being proud parents and grandparents, we also care about the future of our children, grandchildren and the planet. Hence, we have to stand by our children and grandchildren fighting for a social and green future.

Their commitment fully deserves our support, and we will not tolerate our children and grandchildren to be insulted, belittled and threatened for their social engagements. Their future is also our fight!

Together we can change the political balance of power in order to realise a more solidaristic state. A state that not only redistributes resources to ‘beneficiaries’ but also democratises control over how those resources are produced, allocated and managed. A solidaristic state requires shared sacrifices yet shares reward more equally.

This is the enormous challenge ahead: A sustainable, green and society based on solidarity, not run on charity but rather won through a determined campaign of collective self-liberation. Either intergenerational solidarity forever, or our time is up.

Jos Bertrand is President of the European Senior Organisation. The European Senior Organisation of the PES is a membership based civil society network, and voices the values of its member organisations to the EU.

Read the article by Jos Bertrand in PDF

Find all related publications
Publications
28/05/2024

The real effects of Next Generation EU

Recovery Watch Series
22/05/2024

A positive narrative for a Just Transition

An approach to a more people-centred communication
15/05/2024

Ecosocial food policies – proposal for a new social-democratic approach

FEPS YAN series
13/05/2024

How can RepowerEU consolidate recovery?

Recovery Watch series
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post
22/05/2024

Navigating the greenlash

Putting people at the heart of climate action in Europe
27/02/2024

European agriculture: it’s about farmers’ income, stupid!

08/02/2024

A just transition in crisis mode

Find all related events
Events
Upcoming
24/06/2024
Košice, Slovakia

Who will pay for the green transition?

Past
13/06/2024
FEPS HQ, Brussels (Hybrid)

Advancing an Energy Minimum Right

15/05/2024
FEPS HQ, Brussels

A new narrative for a just transition?

Policy study launch
Find all related news
News
04/03/2024

FEPS at the PES Election Congress in Rome

24/01/2024

Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera awarded FEPS ‘Progressive Person of the Year’

11/07/2023

A new social contract for the well-being of people and the planet

Call to action on Just Transition
23/06/2023

Call for tender – research and project coordination

This call for tender closed on 23/07/2023
Find all related in the media
In the media

Ласло Андор: Европа трябва да създаде нов модел за икономически растеж

by dir.bg 14/03/2024
'Europe must create a new model for economic growth'. Interview by Laszlo Andor, FEPS Secretary General

Цената на прехода – зелен, дигитален и демографски

by BNT 13/03/2024
'The cost of transition - green, digital and demographic' BNT Interview with László Andor about the three major transformations the world is facing.

Teresa Ribera, premiada por su labor en política internacional

by El Plural 26/01/2024
Teresa Ribera has been recognized by FEPS with the 'Progressive Person of the Year' award during the launch of the 'Progressive Yearbook.' Article by El Plural

Teresa Ribera, premio ‘Progressive person of the year’ por su labor en política internacional

by Europa Press 26/01/2024
Teresa Ribera has been recognized by FEPS with the 'Progressive Person of the Year' award during the launch of the 'Progressive Yearbook.' Article by Europa Press