AGE Platform Europe congratulates all candidates who have been elected to the European Parliament last week-end. Europeans have been numerous to vote showing an increasing interest in European politics. The turnout reaching around 50% is the highest one in an EU election participation in the last 20 years and the first significant increase since the first EU polls in 1979. The high participation provides the European Parliament with further democratic legitimacy.
Together with the newly elected candidates, the European Commission and the European Council gathering Member States, people of all ages have today a duty and unique opportunity to engage into a constructive dialogue to shape the future of Europe!
TIME TO WALK THE TALK
After the dust of the campaigns and counting settles, it is time to reach out to the newly elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Beyond campaign promises, we count now on MEPs to ‘walk the talk’ and translate their words into action. We call on all the elected MEPs to start campaigning already now for the re-establishment of the Intergroup on Active Ageing and Solidarity Between Generations!
Members of the European Parliament, AGE members and our Brussels-based secretariat remain at your disposal to guide you through this process. Older people’s organisations exist in all Member States: go ahead and approach us! It is still time to endorse AGE’s Manifesto and commit to work for a new generational contract that will make Europe a place for each and every one of us regardless of our age. Do not hesitate to contact our EP Officer, Philippe Seidel.
“Nothing about us without us!”
Europeans have shown they cared about Europe. The European Union must respond to this outstretched hand with actions and proposals that will be debated and implemented for and with citizens. In the aftermath of the elections, all political parties acknowledged the need for change expressed by European citizens. Back in 2009 and 2014, the European elections mainly discussed austerity. What will this new term be about? Climate change, migration, tax justice, cyber-security… AGE urges the new MEPs to tackle the demographic challenge in a fair and sustainable way.
Because the new European Parliament is more fragmented than ever – mirroring numerous socio-economic and societal divisions existing in our countries – it will be a hard task to address various and often contradictory expectations expressed by Europeans. Yet, Europe needs more than ever a dialogue among all political forces and the various age and population groups they represent.
The European Parliament must be the house for such conversations in the spirit of the European Union’s founding values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Photo by Marco Verch on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)