The President of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE), Antoine Renard, has warned that the European Union is ignoring the “disastrous” population trends, which will result in a “demographic winter” unless urgent action is taken now.
According to him, “today’s individualistic civilisation is leading to catastrophe…. [There is] ideological resistance to the very idea of families”.
In a recent interview, he explained that “survey evidence shows young people want lasting relationships and children. But they’re not starting families because they don’t feel safe to”. There is an urgent need for governments across Europe to put the family at the centre of national policies.
Average EU birth rates have fallen to 1.5 per cent, well below replacement levels, while about one million abortions are carried out each year in Europe alone, where fertility is declining and infertility treatments have soared over the past decade.
Mr. Renard laments that there is “absolutely no reaction” when FAFCE has raised demographic issues with government ministers. Instead, he is repeatedly assured by European Union officials that immigration would resolve population decline. While it may be true that immigration is necessary, this should not be seen solely as an economic solution and ignore its social and cultural consequences. Unless, he reiterates, we continue raising children and provide incentives for young people to have them, our own families will simply disappear.
FAFCE says that its campaigns over Europe’s demographic crisis, it is being side-lined, despite past European Parliament resolutions and international human rights commitments. “FAFCE calls on leaders of the EU and its member states to raise awareness about this demographic winter… and to implement a policy that recognises the unique, fundamental and irreplaceable position of the family in society”. Official Eu data forecasts showed that 85% of Italians would have no experience of brothers, sisters or cousins by 2050!
FAFCE’s is supported by the Pope. It was founded in 1997, acknowledged by the Council of Europe as a Non Governmental Organisation with a participatory status. The General secretariat is based in Brussels. FAFCE works both towards the institutions of the European Union and the Council of Europe. It ensures a political representation for family interests from a catholic perspective, on the basis of the Catholic Church’s Social and Family teaching as well as of the testimony of faith and experiential knowledge of Christians in Church and in society. As an umbrella organisation, it serves as a European liaison platform for exchange of experiences of pastoral care of the family and family policy issues for its members. Our member associations provide important catholic expertise and contacts on the national and local levels. FAFCE is the only European family organisation that explicitly refers to the social teaching of the Catholic Church.
For more information, visit their website: http://www.fafce.org/index.php?lang=en&Itemid=148