This was said by Heidi Z'graggen, member of the Council of States of Uri, at a conference on the topic of "Intergenerational solidarity - generational conflict" in November 2019, which I was able to attend.

Did you know that today there are four age groups? There are children and young people, then adults. After that – from age 65 to 79 – come the “young pensioners”! And only from age 80 onwards are people considered “very old”.

A study by Swisslife found that around 400 billion Swiss francs worth of unpaid work is carried out each year. 8 billion alone is carried out by grandparents who take on childcare duties. It is not for nothing that it is said that grandparents form the largest nursery in Switzerland.

Prof. em. Dr. François Höpflinger, researcher of aging, explained in a humorous way how generational relationships have changed. In the past, the extended family was a matter of course. For example, three generations lived under one roof. Solidarity was mutual. The latter is still the case today, but we live a family relationship at a distance. According to Prof. Höpflinger, this results in so-called Beanstalk families, so there is no family unit on the same level as when you live together. Grandparents or parents no longer live under the same roof as the young families. Each couple is on their own.

The input presentations also focused on the topic of work. Heidi Z'graggen explained that when it comes to jobs, young people feel just as discriminated against as old people. They are not taken seriously and are labelled as too young and too inexperienced. In return, the economy has no program to promote work for older people. The introduction of the bridging pension from the age of 58 sends the wrong signal. Anyone who wants to work longer should be able to do so. At present, the highest employment rate affects people between the ages of 55 and 64. After that, however, the number of older workers drops. Ms. Z'graggen is clearly of the opinion that the retirement age is too rigidly fixed. It must be handled flexibly. Better incentives must be created for the economy to enable older workers to continue working in light of the existing or future shortage of skilled workers.

At a conference like this, you obviously can't forget the youth. Ms. Angelika Ruider told us about the "Swiss Association for the Promotion of Militia Engagement". The association's website states: Our association was founded in 2013 by committed young citizens. Our goal is to revitalize the Swiss militia system! True to the federal motto "One for all, all for one", we are creating a movement for citizen service. This underlines the connection to Switzerland, improves social cohesion in the country and strengthens active solidarity in society and for the benefit of the environment.

Ms Ruider explained that from the perspective of young people, a shift in perspective has taken place. In terms of both finances and personnel, the time back then can no longer be compared with today. Family, work and leisure, these three strong points in the lives of young people dominate the days. Women and men are challenged with (part-time) jobs and family care. There is not much left for leisure, let alone for voluntary work or active solidarity. Ms Ruider says: We are a cooperative of citizens and the aim of the association must be to ensure equality. People should be encouraged to make their contribution to society. In 2020, the association is launching a popular initiative called "One for all, all for one". Point 1 (of 5) of the initiative says: Every Swiss citizen performs militia service for the benefit of society and the environment as part of their usual civic duties. I can already see some people throwing up their hands. Compulsory for everyone? But why not? We know today that with the so-called call to action from “coercion” voluntariness can arise.

Believe me: In the workshops, there was heated, very heated discussion about what we heard!

Kommentar hinterlassen