To the Covid generation which is also the climate generation, we owe a “minimum youth”

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Students demonstrate against the precarious living conditions imposed on them due to the covid-19 crisis, in Paris, January 26, 2021. (Photo Julien Mattia / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

If it is fair for a society to judge itself by the way it treats its youth, then urgent action is needed. Usually more affected than any other generation by unemployment, great poverty and poor housing, here it is hit even more by the economic and social crisis that the pandemic brings behind it.

Reality alarms us. With the financial difficulties, the difficulties to feed oneself, to find accommodation, to take care of oneself, to continue studies, to access an internship or a first job … The present is becoming heavy and the future uncertain. Youth sinks into precariousness and general indifference accompanies it.

Being young is a test, a sometimes cruel initiatory rite. So what is this strange nation that decides on a majority on the penal level at 16 in practice, on the civic level at 18 and socially at 25? Isn’t it time to come back to this often shared truism: young people must drool over it and their duties come before their rights?

With financial difficulties, there are increasing difficulties in eating, housing, caring, pursuing studies, accessing an internship or a first job …

At the heart of the crisis, however, voices are raised. They invite our gaze, and even more our conscience, to turn to this youth. Voices that add to each other in the face of the obvious and urgent need but that the President of the Republic stubbornly refuses to hear.

The latest government announcements fall short of the plight that plagues young people today. The answer cannot be reduced to urging young people to “get moving” to get by; today, we have to move for the youth. Not small aids, gadgets, hotlines or websites: we are asking for urgent and strong measures.

But dealing with the emergency will be insufficient if this is not accompanied by in-depth reflection.

The suffering of young people will be the suffering of an entire country and its future if we do not act. This Covid generation is also the Climate generation, the one who demonstrated just a few months ago, calling on us through the streets to justice and the defense of the environment. Caught between a stifling planet and a confined daily life, can we reasonably grow, build and embrace the future with a light heart?

This youth is however the key to the world we have to build and its fate will determine that of our country. In this, it obliges us. Give it the means to live in dignity, to imagine the future other than through the features it attributes to it, and to allow it to take part in the grand design of a changing world.

An objective ally of the senatorial right, the government unfortunately voted against a text in the Senate which proposed to provide young people with a minimum income through the opening of the RSA from 18 years. We call on him so that he can finally learn from his mistakes and move quickly on an issue that is becoming a survival issue for a growing part of our youth.

The latest government announcements fall short of the plight that plagues young people today.

We call on parliamentarians to seize the opportunity that opens up to institute a “minimum youth”. The “WINGS” bill aiming to establish a basic income at 18 and a capital endowment of € 5,000 to start life will be debated in the National Assembly on February 18. Before, it will have been the subject of an unprecedented citizen consultation online on Parliament & Citizens, where thousands of citizens have spoken.

We want a demanding, peaceful debate, in which everyone can assert their point of view, listen to the contradiction, accept to be convinced or nurture the ambition to convince. We owe it to our youth.

But will it take place? For the government, the main flaw of this proposal is that it comes from the opposition. May the majority not brush aside this debate and this citizen consultation with the wave of the hand! May she seize this opportunity to act! It is an interpellation of the Executive in an unprecedented moment of urgency for young people.

Let us have the courage to take strong measures, let us not avoid any debate to give young people the means for their autonomy and to trace the path of their emancipation.

Signatories of the call for a minimum youth

National Assembly (Socialists and Related Group):

  1. Joël Aviragnet, deputy for Haute-Garonne
  2. Marie-Noelle Battistel, Member of Parliament for Isère
  3. Gisèle Biemouret, MP for Gers
  4. Jean Louis Bricout, deputy for Aisne
  5. Alain David, deputy for the Gironde
  6. Laurence Dumont, Member of Parliament for Calvados
  7. Olivier Faure, Deputy for Seine-et-Marne – First secretary of the PS
  8. Guillaume Garot, deputy for Mayenne
  9. David Habib, deputy for Pyrénées-Atlantiques
  10. Chantal Jourdan, Member of Parliament for Orne
  11. Régis Juanico, deputy for the Loire (Generation-s)
  12. Marietta Karamanli, Member of Parliament for Sarthe
  13. Jérôme Lambert, deputy for Charente
  14. Gérard Leseul, deputy for Seine-Maritime
  15. Josette Manin, MP for Martinique (Related)
  16. Philippe Naillet, deputy of Réunion
  17. Christine Pires Beaune, Member of Parliament for Puy-de-Dôme
  18. Dominique Potier, deputy for La Meurthe-et-Moselle
  19. Valerie Rabault, president of the group, Member of Parliament for Tarn
  20. Claudia Rouaux, Member of Parliament for Ille-et-Vilaine
  21. Isabelle Santiago, Member of Parliament for Val-de-Marne
  22. Hervé Saulignac, deputy for Ardèche
  23. Sylvie Tolmont, Member of Parliament for Sarthe
  24. Cécile Untermaier, Member of Parliament for Saône-et-Loire
  25. Hélène Vainqueur-Christophe, Member of Parliament for Guadeloupe
  26. Boris Vallaud, deputy for Landes
  27. Michèle Victory, Member of Parliament for Ardèche

Senate (Socialist, Ecologist and Republican group):

  1. Antiste Maurice: Senator of Martinique
  2. Artigalas Viviane: Senator of the Hautes Pyrénées
  3. Bigot Joël: Senator of Maine-et-Loire
  4. BLATRIX-CONTAT Florence: Senator for Ain
  5. BOUAD Denis: Senator of Gard
  6. Bourgi Hussein: Senator for Hérault
  7. Cardon Rémi: Senator of the Somme
  8. Carlotti Marie Arlette: Senator of Bouches du Rhône
  9. Conway-Mouret Hélène: Senator representing the French outside France
  10. Devinaz Gilbert-Luc: Senator of the Rhône
  11. Durain Jérôme: Senator of Saône-et-Loire
  12. Féraud Rémi: Senator of Paris
  13. Féret Corinne: Senator of Calvados
  14. Fichet Jean-Luc: Senator of Finistère
  15. Godson Martine: Senator of the North
  16. Gillé Hervé: Senator of the Gironde
  17. Houllegatte Jean-Michel: Senator for La Manche
  18. Jasmin Victoire: Senator from Guadeloupe
  19. Joly Patrice: Senator for Nièvre
  20. Jourda Gisèle: Senator for Aude
  21. Kanner Patrick: Senator of the North
  22. Kerrouche Éric: Senator of the Landes
  23. de La Gontrie Marie-Pierre: Senator of Paris
  24. Leconte Jean-Yves: Senator representing French people living outside France
  25. Le Houerou Annie: Senator of Côtes-d’Armor
  26. Lepage Claudine: Senator of the French Outside France
  27. Lozach Jean-Jacques: Senator of the Creuse
  28. Lubin Monique: Senator of the Landes
  29. Lurel Victorin: Senator of Guadeloupe
  30. Magner Jacques-Bernard: Senator of Puy-de-Dôme
  31. Marie Didier: Senator of Seine-Maritime
  32. Merillou Serge: Senator of the Dordogne
  33. Michau Jean-Jacques: Senator of Ariège
  34. Monier Marie-Pierre: Senator of Drôme
  35. Montaugé Franck: Senator of the Gers
  36. Pla Sébastien: Senator for Aude
  37. Poumirol Emilienne: Senator of Haute-Garonne
  38. Préville Angèle: Senator of Lot
  39. Raynal Claude: Senator for Haute-Garonne
  40. Redon-Sarrazy Christian: Senator of Haute Vienne
  41. Robert Sylvie: Senator of Ille-et-Vilaine
  42. Roger Gilbert: Senator of Seine-Saint-Denis
  43. Rossignol Laurence: Senator of the Oise
  44. Stanzione Lucien: Senator of Vaucluse
  45. Sueur Jean-Pierre: Senator for Loiret
  46. Temal Rachid: Senator of Val-d’Oise
  47. Tissot Jean-Claude: Senator of the Loire
  48. Todeschini Jean-Marc: Senator for Moselle and former minister
  49. Vallet Mickaël: Senator of Charente-Maritime
  50. Van Heghe Sabine: Senator of Pas-de-Calais
  51. Vaugrenard Yannick: Senator for Loire-Atlantique

Department presidents:

  1. Laurent Ughetto (Ardèche);
  2. Christine Téqui (Ariège);
  3. Germinal Peiro (Dordogne) ;
  4. Nathalie Sarrabezolles (Finistère) ;
  5. Françoise Laurent-Perrigot (Gard);
  6. Georges Méric (Haute-Garonne);
  7. Philippe Martin (Gers);
  8. Jean-Luc Gleyze (Gironde);
  9. Kléber Mesquida (Hérault);
  10. Xavier Fortinon (Landes);
  11. Philippe Grosvalet (Loire-Atlantique);
  12. Sophie Borderie (Lot-et-Garonne);
  13. Sophie Pantel (Lozère) ;
  14. Valérie Beausert-Leick (Meurthe-et-Moselle);
  15. Alain Lassus (Nièvre);
  16. Hermeline Malherbe (Pyrénées-Orientales);
  17. Jean-Claude Leblois (Haute-Vienne);
  18. Stéphane Troussel (Seine-Saint-Denis);
  19. Josette Borel-Lincertin (Guadeloupe);

PS National Secretary for Youth : Maxime Sauvage

See also on The HuffPost: “After 3 sessions, what happens?” The student psychiatric check, a fragile measure


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