The 15th October, World Youth Alliance Europe (WYAE) was invited to participate in the conference "Demography Challenges in Europe", organized by European Conservatives and Reformists Group, in collaboration with FEdE (Fundacija Energia dla Europa) celebrated at the European Parliament.
Mr. Pawel Kowal, MEP from Poland, and member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, hosted the event, and served as a moderator for the session. Professor Krystyna Iglicka, from Lazarski University of Poland, pointed out how the demographic problems and challenges are more pronounced in countries from the Baltic and Eastern Europe, using Poland as a case study. The drop of population and its aging are some of the most evident problems that need to be faced now. But why the forecast for EU-27 countries is better than the one for the countries of the Baltic and Eastern of Europe? According to Professor Iglicka this is due to the family friendly policies developed by the EU-27 and the immigration these countries receive. "Immigration itself is not the solution. It can work, but not alone" – reminds the professor. "We have to refocus social policies into families, or we will face a demographic crisis, the worst scenario".
Mr. Ilmars Mezs, PhD and member of the Demographic Council of Latvia, highlighted the fact that in terms of demography, not only religion and culture are the main factors: the amount of money the Government invest in families is crucial for the development of the family, which is one of the most important structures in the society. “Government and budgets make a difference in demography” – said the PhD. Ms. Evelyn Mahon, PhD Trinity College, Ireland, offered an interesting perspective of the issue, addressing the question of how to reconcile work and family life through the case of Ireland, a country that has become a role model in demographic terms. Ireland’s high birthrates can be explained by different factors, all of them related with State policies, such us Government support for lone parent families, availability of private childcare for high income earners and the continuity of the housewife gender contract. Finally, the journalist Mr. Bartosz Marczuk, an expert of the Association of Large Families 3+ and a collaborator from the Energy for Europe Foundation addressed a trend question: is family an expending or an investment? According to him, to invest in family is to invest in our future.
WYAE was glad to participate in this conference, which brought up good arguments pointing out the importance of the family as the basic cell of the society and as a essential factor to the demographic development.