Janša Calls for Family Policies to Address Ageing Population in Europe

By , 24 Sep 2021, 09:30 AM Politics
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STA, 23 September 2021 - Prime Minister Janez Janša attended on Thursday the Demographic Summit in Budapest, which he labelled as one of the most important events in the debate on the future of Europe, as demographics is one of the most important issues in the EU.

He emphasised the importance of the family and said that the EU needed a bolder family policy, the prime minister's office said in a press release.

Janša participated in a panel on family as a key to sustainability alongside his Polish, Czech and Hungarian counterparts Mateusz Morawiecki, Andrej Babiš and Viktor Orban, ex-US Vice President Mike Pence and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

"Due to the negative trends, demography is one of the important issues faced by the entire Europe. There is currently no country in the world that does not depend on demographic issues," the Slovenian prime minister said at the panel.

Slovenia had a negative natural increase last year, and the same is true for other European countries.

"When trends in the economy are worsening, we immediately hold a lot of crisis meetings. And when we have a demographic crisis, the numbers are bad and this lasts for years or decades, almost no one notices."

Janša stressed that the EU needed a bold family policy, as financial issues, while having an impact on the creation of family, were only a part of the picture.

"We cannot talk only about the economic circumstances for starting a family, because family policies of individual states also affect this," he said, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic had also contributed to the declining birth rates.

Janša argued that young people should be assisted in creating a family, which should be supported as the fundamental cell of society, because "family needs to be in the forefront, as families are the core of a state and string society."

He welcomed the European Commission creating a demography and democracy portfolio and a European commissioner dealing solely with these issues in the current term. "We are still waiting for bold decisions that would put family first," he added.

The Demographic Summit was also attended by Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Janez Cigler Kralj, who participated in a panel on best practice in demography and family policy, the release adds.

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