Marek Plura, Polish Member of the European Parliament for the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska/EPP) in Poland, supported the AGE manifesto and has spoken up on the importance of accessible environments also for older people in a recent interview with Parliament Magazine, a specialised EU media outlet.
‘I would like to work on appreciating and managing the incredible potential of elderly people. They are the cornerstone of non-governmental organisations and charities. They are responsible citizens taking part in elections and are the driving force of local initiatives. Elderly people not only have the knowledge, but also the patience and understanding that allows them to act as valuable mentors for young employees and to support their younger families.’Marek Plura in an interview with Parliament Magazine
Marek Plura is a wheelchair user himself and a champion for disability rights in the European Parliament. He was co-rapporteur on the European Disability Strategy and very engaged on the European Accessibility Act. For him, accessibility ‘is an investment, while [it] benefits all; the elderly, parents with small children, tourists with luggage – everyone.’ He added: ‘Europe cannot afford to waste the potential, talent and engagement of millions of its citizens! ‘
In another contribtion Marek Plura also spoke up about the technical barriers faced by many persons with disabilities in the voting process, ranging from stairs in polling stations, complicated instructions on voting to unreadable ballots. Also, many persons with intellectual disabilities who are perfectly capable are denied their legal capacity to vote. These issues are also common among many older persons with disabilities.