Managing demographic change
Our population is shrinking, ageing and becoming more diverse. With birth rates falling, there are fewer children and more elderly people. Citizens of other countries also settle here to make a life for themselves and their children. This mix already characterises Germany's population profile and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future. We Greens want to actively manage this demographic change. We believe it is important to utilise the new opportunities and potentials that this process affords. We also want to develop policies, now and in future, that are sensitive to the needs of different generations and accord with the Greens' enhanced concept of justice. This is a cross-cutting task which requires action in a range of areas and at different levels. The benefits of this approach should not be measured by short-term election successes; instead, current policies in this area must be judged by their outcomes for the future. Intergenerational justice must be a fundamental goal of political action.
Key fields of action for managing demographic change
- Sustainable, future-proof social security systems: We need a pension insurance system which is fair, equitable and safeguards intergenerational justice and also provides the security that is needed at a time when gaps in people's employment history are becoming increasingly common. The same applies to health and nursing care insurance, which must provide cover for all adults engaged in all forms of employment. We want a system of health and nursing care provision which puts prevention first and offers prevention-based services that are accessible to everyone, irrespective of origin. Decent provision must be guaranteed for those in poor health or requiring nursing care.
- Education, science and employment: Education is a key resource in the knowledge society. For that reason, opportunities to access education must be guaranteed for every individual from every social background and age group. Lifelong learning must become an integral part of working life, along with a culture that encourages older people to remain in work, for in an ageing society, we cannot afford to ignore the older generations' experience and professional expertise.
- Sustainable infrastructures and stronger municipalities: Demographic change requires flexible forms of general interest service delivery and a flexible social and cultural infrastructure. With our shrinking towns and cities, it makes no sense to aim for more and more growth. Instead, we support the vision of qualitative and sustainable development. There are no ready-made solutions; instead, regionally adapted approaches must be sought. For that reason, we want to greatly strengthen the capacities of the municipalities, which have a key role to play here.
- Modern social policies: We advocate a family policy which enables people to combine family life with work and social participation (work/life balance). Targeted time-use policies can do much to help achieve a balance between these different spheres of life. We also want to give targeted support to increase intergenerational cohesion, focussing on various sectors from housing and urban planning to support for intergenerational volunteer services. Access to education and the labour market is the centrepiece of our integration policy.