The EU must take a tough stand against elder abuse and no one should have a pension that is below the EU poverty line, writes the chairmen of pensioners’ organizations in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
Soon we will have the opportunity to choose the politicians will represent us in the EU Parliament. It is by no means an insignificant choice. Decisions made within the EU affects our daily lives, even for us who belong to the older generation.
In the coming years we will fight against age discrimination and ensure that all pensioners in the EU have decent pensions. No seniors should have to have incomes below the EU poverty line . In Sweden, we see more and more, especially women, who are forced to live on pensions that are below the limit that the EU -defined poverty line.
When the EU is providing support for the development of roads, railways and information technology (IT) in member countries , make them available for people who have some form of disability. When it comes to IT a draft EU directive requires that web pages with public service information are accessible to those who may not have a great internet experience. The proposal must become a reality or otherwise a large portion of Europe’s population will be left aside of the digital revolution.
It is also important that the EU initiated technical standardization of security alarms for the elderly so that they can be used regardless of the manufacturer. It is not reasonable that within Europe, different standards are developed for a product that is so important for many elderly people.
Large areas of EU research money is used for medical research. EU wants more elderly people live more healthy years. The Union must therefore ensure that all older people have access to drugs and medical treatments, and information on clinical trials. In addition, the EU must work on public health and combat the spread of infections and health inequalities through targeted support.
Recently changed EU procurement rules will make it easier to take into account the environment and address social demands when goods and services are purchased by the public sector. These include the purchase of food for the elderly. It is a step forward, and now we need to ensure that such changes of the legal framework become reality, while pushing to take another step away from the philosophy that only the cheapest price should prevail when goods are purchased.
Around Europe elder abuse is a major concern. The EU must develop a strategy to support Member States to combat such abuses.
Now it is important that all of us go and vote. We need wise and serious politicians in the European Parliament who realize that a developed welfare is good for EU citizens. The Nordic welfare model has created communities where we older people live relatively good. Our Nordic experience can be highlighted as example of EU cooperation.
Read the article in Swedish here.
Curt Persson, PRO, Sweden
Kalevi Kivistö, Eläkeläiset ry, Finland
Lillian Knudsen, Faglige seniorer, Denmark,
Matti Hellsten, EKL, Finland
Sam Sandberg, SKPF, Sweden