40th Ipse Meeting in Bologna, July 3 and 4, 2014


Bologne-Italie-Vue-aérienneThe 40th Ipse Meeting invites you to communicate on, discuss and debate the most effective actions to renew and sustain intergenerational solidarities.


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Presentation and program of the Meeting

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European models, like the continent itself, are united in their diversity. They are all founded on a principle of solidarity which, when applied and enforced, makes it possible to comprehensively pool coverage of social risks. First and foremost, this solidarity takes the form of an intergenerational social contract whereby active age groups were initially intended to finance not only their own guarantees, but the guarantees and social services of their elders, particularly retirees. This intergenerational equity was founded on the principle that active generations would in turn enjoy, “tomorrow,” treatment equivalent to that granted to “today’s” older generations. This system also aimed to avoid having to repay debts left by previous generations.


In the 21st century, this structure erected last century has been shaken to its core. We must respond, eloquently and effectively, to these challenges, which arise less from economic and financial crises than from a crisis of confidence. Yes, there are indeed debts hanging over our heads like the Sword of Damocles, and many even doubt our ability to keep our promises for “tomorrow!”


As such, measures imposing discipline, and especially austerity, would demand a threefold payment from the youngest generations. They would repay debts, pay additional social security contributions and enjoy less advantageous benefits. The risk of doing away with the intergenerational contract has never been as great as it is now, in the face of ever-growing imbalances.
The distribution of wealth on which social protection is founded favors the oldest citizens, with few if any benefits offered to the young, who are the first to fall through the “holes” in our “social safety net.” And yet these young people are the ones suffering from mass unemployment in too many Member States, while keeping “seniors” at work remains a significant concern. Finally, we must emphasize the fact that young households possess only small fraction of wealth. In 2013, the European Central Bank pointed out that Europeans under 35 own 5% of the wealth, compared to 56% for those over 55. It should also be noted that the portion of wealth tends to diminish after the age of 64.


These realities, far from exhaustive, oblige us to strike new balances, adopting innovative approaches, policies and practices to establish renewed relations among generations. This new intergenerational pact is a sine qua non for social cohesion, and thus for a democratic system that relies on sustainable social protection.


All social protection actors are concerned. Social security schemes, as well as mutual and partiarian providers managing complementary social protection, could take the lead in this search for innovation. Indeed, their dynamic nature and the aptitude for experimentation that so distinctly characterizes the social and partiarian economy make them natural partners in the quest to strengthen solidarity.


At this 40th Ipse Meeting in Bologna on July 3 and 4, 2014, we invite you to address these issues and this debate on the creation of new and appropriate solidarity-based products. Four sessions will de devoted to the search for new solutions:


  1. Ipse: 25 years of action and 40 Meetings for the advancement of solidarity-based social protection
  2. Intergenerational solidarity: conditions to bring about a harmonious future for social protection
  3. Concrete practices to bring intergenerational solidarity to life in social protection
  4. Efficient action for intergenerational solidarity
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