On 3rd December 2013 I’ve hosted an interesting conference in the European Parliament in Brussels titled Strengthening the rights of Older Persons in Europe: Which Tools?
A number of distinguished representatives of EU Commission and Parliament as well as speakers from different organizations including the Slovene national umbrella association of pensioners clubs and AGE Platform Europe exposed their views on the topic which regards a very substantive part of the society in Slovenia and all around the world.
AGE Platform Europe presented to the conference its manifesto for the candidates at the forthcoming EU elections in 2014.
I strongly support the message of the manifesto about “creating an Age-Friendly European Union”. It is absolutely necessary that the generation of older people has its say in all questions that regard them and directly affect their quality of live and their social status.
As I understand the main message of the manifesto the age-friendly measures and policy instruments should be horizontally included in all major sectoral policies (e.g. work market, social policy, health policy) on the EU, as well as on national and regional level.
I also support efforts of many different organizations to propose and adopt a United Nations convention on human rights of older people. I’m happy that this initiative in Slovenia is broadly supported thanks to associations of older people and pensioners.
I am convinced that the UN will sooner or later adopt the convention on human rights of older people, but I’m also aware that this kind of initiatives requires time to process the idea and positions on this issue as it is usual in the practice of the world organizations.
International community can’t neglect the fact that there are older people in the world, living in different types of societies, but having their universal expectations and specific needs, interests and ambitions. It is time to admit that we all have to do our best to enable older people to be a creative and equal part of our society.
Ivo VAJGL, Member of European Parliament (ALDE, Slovenia)