Europe’s future is in the hands of young people

2020. 02. 19.

Christian Democrat MEP György Hölvényi, the Hungarian National Association of Large Families (NOE) and the International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) organized a conference on Youth Transiton in the European Parliament.  At the conference, young people from 15 countries had the opportunity to exchange views with decision makers about the new forms of transitions between life phases and the challenges of establishing a family.  Alongside the young experts, Members of the European Parliament, governmental actors, the European Commission and experts from family and youth organizations attended the event.

The theme of the conference was youth transition, with a particular focus on the transition from education to the labor market, housing and forming a family. The central question of the event was how today’s youth and future parents see their opportunities and what do they need to establish their own family homes. What can decision makers and NGOs do in order to support young people in their transition to adulthood.

MEP György Hölvényi said in his welcoming speech: ” Europe’s future is in the hands of young people; therefore as decision makers, it is our interest to listen and support them in order to give a more predictable vision”. “It is crucial to focus on family-centered thinking on the EU scene from time to time. This can only be credible with the involvement of young people who are about to found their own family, and are searching and waiting for answers to their questions and concerns. By engaging in dialogue and understanding the expectations and thoughts of the young generation, we can help them to take the courage on this beautiful but very serious challenge,” added the politician.

Ms Katalin Novák, State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs in Hungary emphasized: “Immigration is the only reason why the population of Europe is growing while the Member State’s own population is decreasing year by year. We need to find the reasons why young people are not having children and identify the challenges and obstacles they face. Governments and EU institutions cannot tackle these challenges alone, involvement of the family organizations, churches, business partners and the academic sphere is essential but first of all, the youth has the key role in this”.

Fidesz MEP Kinga Gál said: “As a mother of four young adults, I see that the young generation is constantly struggling with transitional periods: from school to university, from university to work, from career to founding a family. These transitions can only be successful if the individual is adequately supported by his or her family, community and government, so they do not have to choose between work and family. We, as politicians committed to youth and families, should use all our tools to serve this purpose”.

Ms Katalin Kardosné Gyurkó has represented the National Association of Large Families, while the International Federation for Family Development was represented by Mr Igancio Socias, Director of Communication and International Relations. On behalf of the European Commission, Ms Katarina Ivanković-Knežević, Director for Social Affairs informed the participants about the Commission’s new communication as a respond to the demographic challenges. The report is expected to be released in early April. The European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC), the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) and the Maria Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS) also attended the event.