1st June 2015 - The European Sunday Alliance hosted its 2nd meeting of the Interest Group “Work-Life-Balance”. The German and the Austrian Sunday Alliances, both members of the European Sunday Alliance, under the kind patronage of the Members of the European Parliament Ms. Evelyn Regner and Mr. Thomas Mann, invited Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa to give his insights and reflections on the process of acceleration on modern society and its consequences for the work-life-balance in our societies. Around 40 people, members of the European Parliament and representatives of civil society organizations, gathered to discuss the importance of “oases of deceleration”.
The diverse audience – from MEPs from various political groups to representatives of trade unions, employers, family and sports organizations and Churches – had a fruitful exchange with Prof. Dr. Rosa, who explained his demand for a collective synchronized free time that allows for deceleration and leisure instead of ticking off one’s to-do list.
“We are running out of time”, stated Prof. Dr. Rosa. Despite all technological advancements which are geared towards saving time we are shifting from the hope of a better work-life-balance to the unspoken idea of a “work-age” balance. Whereas the good life seems to begin with retirement, the chronic mismatch between the perceived workload and the available time-resources during the “rush hour of life” and in addition the fear of losing one`s job creates a spiral, which leads to the feeling of no escapes and no control over one’s own life. Burnout is a symptom of that. A feeling of no escapes and no control over one’s own life. Burnout is a symptom of that. A general social basic income could be a solution, proposed Prof. Rosa, because it would take pressure from employees.
The feeling of being socially excluded and just getting alms would be eliminated by a collective basic income.
That is why we need “oases of deceleration”. Collective time-outs, holidays and a work free Sunday as such oases should be used for reading books, listening to music and playing games instead of buying new ones. Prof. Dr. Rosa emphasized that “time-politics cannot be an isolated instrument” we need to change the political and socio-economic structures – we need a new vision of a post-growth society.
The next meeting of the Interest Group will be in the second half of the year after the summer break.