European Accessibility Act: where do we stand?

End 2015 the European Commission proposed a Directive to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services by removing barriers created by divergent legislation. This will facilitate the work of companies while bringing benefits for older people and people with disabilities in the European Union. Continue Reading

Council and Parliament adopt the revised directive on occupational pensions

In December, the Council of ministers of the EU has finally adopted the revised ‘Directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision’ (IORP-II), regulating occupational pensions, after the approval of the European Parliament in its plenary session. The directive aims to strengthen requirements on the protection of beneficiaries, mainly through improved information, transparency and governance requirements. AGE has been accompanying the revision process started in 2014 and welcomes the adoption of the revision, while regretting that important improvements have been left out of the proposal.
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Call for more support for non-formal adult education

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution in its February Plenary on the Erasmus+ programme for education and training. The resolution highlights the importance of non-formal adult education and learning for integrating adults in the labour market and to promote their social inclusion. The Parliament calls for increasing the significance and visibility of non-formal education in Erasmus+ and the development of adult learning institutions.
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New resolution endorses call to protect older person’s rights

On 14 December 2016 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the ‘Annual Report on human rights and democracy in the world and the European Union’s policy on the matter 2015’, which includes a reference to older people’s human rights. The report of the European Parliament explicitly supports our call for a better use of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), an active involvement in the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing of the United Nations, and a new international legal instrument that would address the particular challenges of older persons, as highlighted in AGE general declaration and Human rights Manifesto adopted by AGE members during their general assembly in November.

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Work-life balance, women in poverty and gender pension gap: gender equality on the agenda of European Parliament and Council

While the Parliament has put emphasis on the fight against poverty of women in a recent report, the Council of ministers of social affairs has also supported action to fight poverty of women in conclusions negotiated under the Slovakian presidency. The Council calls for the implementation of the Commission’s roadmap on work-life balance, the proposed European pillar of social rights, and to include two new indicators on the at-risk-of poverty rate of migrant women and of inactive women, including by age groups. The Parliament went further and supports the call for recognising care periods through care leave arrangements, employee-driven flexible working time, care credits in pension schemes and supporting services. AGE welcomes many of the points taken up by the Parliament and the Council, but considers that some points are missing. Continue Reading