Older citizens meet supportive MEPs in Brussels

On 16th October 2019, older citizens representing national members of AGE Platform Europe traveled all the way to Brussels to meet their newly elected Members of the European Parliament.

Elections are always a time of reshuffling. These European elections 2019 were no exception, with a European Parliament welcoming a substantial share of new MEPs. Since June 2019 then, older citizens and their representative organisations have been working in coordination to establish new contacts with their elected representatives. The objective of this post-election campaign was two-fold:

  • Present AGE and its member organisations as relevant interlocutor when it comes to ageing;
  • Re-establish an Intergroup on Demographic Change and Solidarity between Generations for the next term to ensure the European Parliament will be equipped with a dedicated forum to discuss all these matters.

This campaign peaked with a ceremony in the premises of the European Parliament on 16th October 2019 where older citizens invited and met their MEPs. We warmly thank MEP Brando Benifei, one of the youngest members of the European Parliament, who kindly hosted the event and thus, gave a concrete example of the intergenerational ambition of the Intergroup.

AGE members had the honour to welcome MEP Rainer Wieland, Vice-President of the European Parliament who gave an introductory word much in line with the spirit of the Intergroup:

‘It is not my idea of society that one-part talks about old white men and women and another part talks about young people that must be taught’ said Mr. Wieland.

The Intergroup on Demographic Change and Solidarity between Generation is fuelled with the desire to keep the discussions going among all political groups to address the challenges coming along demographic change ‘not as a threat but as an opportunity to renew our generational contract’, reminded AGE President, Ebbe Johansen.

Elizabeth Gosme, Director of COFACE-Families Europe, who is campaigning together with AGE for the re-establishment of the Intergroup, emphasised how supporting carers, and promoting the autonomy of persons with disabilities are important to build solidarity between generations.

We had the pleasure to welcome among the participants to this ceremony MEPs Bettina Vollath, Franc Bogovic, Milan Brglez, Tanja Fajon, Marisa Matias, Ljudmila Novak, Romana Tomc, Carlos Zorrinho and Julie Ward.

> Discover the pictures of the event
> Visit AGE Platform Europe’s website for more

For more information:

Two Parliament Vice-President and a Commission Vice-President-designate support the intergroup

The European Commission’s Vice-President-designate on Demographic Change and Democracy, Ms Dubravka Suica, supported the Intergroup in her capacity of MEP, as she waits to be confirmed in her role as Commissioner. The Intergroup also received support from two Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament: Ms Mairead McGuinness of Ireland and Othmar Karas of Austria. The campaign for the Intergroup is ongoing, let us know if you want to join!

Continue reading “Two Parliament Vice-President and a Commission Vice-President-designate support the intergroup”

‘MEPs, give a voice to solidarity between generations’ – joint call by AGE and COFACE

This week, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) can sign up to cross-party ‘intergroups’. AGE Platform Europe and the European network of family organisations COFACE-Families Europe have sent a common letter to MEPs to call for an intergroup on demographic change and solidarity between generations. Given demographic change affects everyone, the Parliament should encourage a large debate on sustainable solutions that fit the needs and expectations of all current and future generations.

An intergroup is an informal group of members of the European Parliament of different political groups and committees, which can encourage a large debate about cross-cutting issues. AGE and COFACE feel that demographic change, because of its impact on citizens, is a topic that needs to be addressed. Also, by nominating a Commission Vice-President-designate for Demographic Change, Ms Dubravka Suica, the President-elect of the European Commission has started this cross-cutting debate, and Parliament should be ready for this.

By putting forward a common call, AGE and COFACE underline that both family forms and ageing experiences are increasingly diverse. This is why debate on public policies on how to adequately address the needs of all generations in a spirit of solidarity are needed.

Citizen-centred and family-friendly policies needed

AGE and COFACE call for policies to promote citizen-centred and family-friendly labour markets, social protection systems, transport and housing, education and culture, consumer goods and financial services, urban planning and inclusive neighbourhoods. They underline that we need support for active citizenship and well-being across the whole life span, help to reconcile our work and family life, facilitate personal and professional fulfilment of young and old, enhance economic growth in our rural and urban areas and, eventually, strengthen social justice and cohesion.

What should MEPs do?

The intergroup on demographic change and solidarity between generations would be a continuation of previous intergroups on older persons, active ageing and solidarity between generations that have existed since 1982 in various forms.

Members of the European Parliament can support the establishment of an intergroup on demographic change and solidarity between generations by signing this form and sending it until 18 October 2019 to the office of Mr Brando Benfiei (15G210), and advocate within their political group for support for this intergroup.

More information:

For further information, please contact Philippe Seidel at the AGE Secretariat philippe.seidel@age-platform.eu. Wednesday 16 October 2019