The Riigikogu adopted the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee” (199 OE), presented by the Constitutional Committee, with 77 votes in favour. The Resolution appoints Andres Herkel as a member of the Select Committee instead of Indrek Raudne. Ülo Tulik was appointed as an alternate member of the Committee instead of Andres Herkel.
Minister of Social Affairs Hanno Pevkur, professor of social policy of the University of Tartu Lauri Leppik and Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee Margus Tsahkna presented their reports at the deliberation of the matter of significant national importance „The potential in solidarity between generations“.
Pevkur announced that the Ministry of Social Affairs has started to compile the active aging strategy for 2013–2020. The strategy should ensure that the elderly in Estonia can take advantage of various opportunities to keep active and to live a dignified life. According to the Minister, the whole Estonian society faces challenges in using the resources of the aging people better on the labour market. Since the aging of the population inevitably leads to the increase in the number of old age pensioners, it is becoming increasingly important to support the employment of elderly people. In order to keep active until old age, a person should continue learning new things. Pevkur accorded great importance to the social inclusion of an aged person. He thinks this problem can be alleviated by creating broad opportunities for elderly people to keep active, learn new skills, enjoy their hobbies and participate in cultural and social life. The Minister said that all these aspects are to be taken into account in the active aging strategy.
Leppik cited active aging and solidarity between generations as European priorities for this year. This has grown out of the hope that increased activity until old age along with family support and solidarity between generations are the forces that will carry European societies through the changes connected to aging. An aging society needs solidarity between generations just like it needs the active contribution of the largest number of people possible, regardless of their age. He admitted that we associate solidarity too often with problems, need for help and crises. But the concept of solidarity is first and foremost connected to ties and links that keep different social and human communities together. Leppik explained that the tighter the connections the stronger the society and the easier it is to solve various problems. He stressed that the state should make the effort in the interest of the society to keep and strengthen these ties. Solidarity between generations involves ties, contacts, roles, work distribution and transferrals of income between generations within a family, a community or a society on a broader level. This is a question of contribution, responsibilities and roles of different generations. Leppik explained that Europe has set the objective of building an age-friendly society which can adapt to changes in the structure of the population.
Tsahkna gave an overview of the discussions in the Social Affairs Committee. He remarked that unity between different generations would create synergy and would provide the opportunity of acting towards common objectives. The other side of the issue of solidarity is that we have talked a lot about the aged, but we really should be talking about the young people and the opening up of their potential, Tsahkna explained. If we look at the challenges facing Estonia and Europe in the long term, the proposed solutions will not bring good results overnight but only in a very long perspective.
Liisa-Ly Pakosta, Maret Maripuu, Viktor Vassiljev and Heljo Pikhof took the floor during the debate.
The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) is available at:
The Riigikogu Press Service
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