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

European Parliament endorses EU directive for web accessibility of public websites

On 26th October 2016, the European Parliament approved the EU Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. The new rules establish a set of criteria and technical provisions to enable everyone, including people with disabilities (in particular vision or hearing impairments), to have access to online data and services provided by public sector bodies.

Read more on the European Commission website

This rewards AGE Platform Europe’s campaign, started several years ago together with the European Blind Union (EBU), the European Disability Forum (EDF) and the European Organisation representing Consumers in Standardisation (ANEC), in favour of a binding legislation on web accessibility. Our common objective was to ensure that public sector websites and websites delivering basic services to citizens are made accessible to all.

Useful links :

Members of the Parliament call for the promotion of sports for active ageing

On 18 November 2015, Members of the European Parliament have called for a more active promotion of sports including for older persons. AGE Platform Europe and the Italian Kung-Fu Federation FIWUK have demonstrated how Tai Chi can be practiced by people of all ages, including while sitting.

201511 TaiChi Cocktail

Member of Parliament (MEP) Marian Harkin emphasised that sports are part of inclusion into society and that, therefore, promotion of sports is a fulfilment of article 25 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights that guarantees the right of older persons to live independently and in dignity. MEP Van Nistelrooij, Coordinator of the EP intergroup subgroup on active ageing and solidarity between generations, highlighted the important benefits to health of sports, including by preventing chronic diseases and preventing falls. Also Mr Tarabella, MEP outlined the work of the intergroup on sports in raising the importance of sports in the European agenda, including for intercultural exchange.

Vincenzo Drago, president of the Italian Federation of Wushu Kung Fu, explained the history of Tai Chi and gave information about an Erasmus+ project that his federation manages and that promotes Tai Chi for older persons and at the workplace. Two Tai Chi masters from Italy gave a demonstration of this Chinese martial art.

Member of the Parliament Alojz Peterle, Vice-President of the intergroup subgroup on active ageing and solidarity between generations, stressed also the ethical underpinning of Tai Chi, aimed at protecting the weaker. He underlined that with due regard to sports, growing older can be transformed into growing healthier. He also underlined that sports can help to reduce cancer

Mr Szabolcs Horvath from the European Commission outlined several actions that the European Commission has taken in the past to promote sports, also for the benefit of public health budgets and quality of life of older people. Actions of the EU include the European Week of Sports, organised for the first time in 2015, a 2013 Council Recommendation on health-enhancing physical activity and funding that is available for exchanges in sports through the Erasmus+ programme.

Mr Heinz K. Becker, Vice-President of the Parliament’s intergroup subgroup on active ageing and solidarity between generations highlighted the work of the Parliament on a report on the European dimension of sports. He stressed the importance of reducing corruption in sports, as this may put away many citizens from this. He also emphasised the importance of sports promotion and its role in reducing diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe, expressed that sports also have an important intergenerational dimension, as soft sports such as Tai Chi can be practiced by grandparents and children together. She also underlined that such a sport, included at the workplace, supports employability and motivation of workers.

Read the full report of the meeting here

 

AGE warmly welcomes the official launch of the Intergroup on Active ageing, Intergenerational solidarity and Family policies

A large number of MEPs have today officially launched the Intergroup on Active ageing, Intergenerational solidarity and Family policies. AGE Platform Europe, the EU largest network of organisations of and for older persons, welcomes their initiative and looks forward to a fruitful collaboration on issues related to ageing and intergenerational solidarity.

Two days after the first EU Summit on Active and Healthy Ageing, AGE welcomes the official launch of the Intergroup on Active ageing, Intergenerational solidarity and Family policies. For many years now, AGE has been closely working with the previous Intergroup on ageing and intergenerational solidarity, leading to key progresses on many EU dossiers. We hope to maintain this privileged relationship with the new Intergroup, now merged with the former Family Intergroup, and make further progress to adapt Europe to population ageing.

The re-establishment of this long-standing Intergroup was a big success for older citizens’ and their organisations,” said Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General, adding  “AGE Platform Europe agrees with European Commission President Juncker’s acknowledgement that Europe has not done enough yet to address population ageing and we believe the Intergroup will help the European Parliament voice older citizens’ concerns and recommendations in EU policy debates that seek to help Member States address their demographic challenges.”

The Intergroup will work in two groups, one dedicated to active ageing and the other one dedicated to family policies, while the issue of intergenerational solidarity will be mainstreamed in all of the Intergroup’s activities. AGE members therefore look forward to collaborating with the MEPs involved in the subgroup on Active Ageing, notably on President Juncker’s investment plan, the adoption of the long-awaited equal treatment directive, and the shaping of an EU Strategy for Demographic Change.

Lambert van Nistelrooij, Member of the European Parliament for the EPP and coordinator of the subgroup on Active Ageing added: “I have been a member of this Intergroup since 2004. Technology plays an important role in active ageing, for example it can ensure that older persons can stay at home longer. Within the subgroup on Active ageing I will therefore focus on stimulating innovation and technological development in the area of active ageing. ”

AGE will monitor and report on the Intergroup’s activities on its blog “Towards an Age-Friendly European Parliament”. We hope that this blog will become a collaborative platform on what the new European Parliament will do to address demographic change and to find fair and sustainable solutions for the future of all generations.

List of Members of the Intergroup Subgroup on Active Ageing:

  • Vice-Presidents

Lambert van Nistelrooij (NL, EPP) (Coordinator of the Subgroup)

Heinz K. Becker (Austria, EPP)

Alojz Peterle (Slovenia, EPP)

Josef Weidenholzer (Austria, S&D)

Ivo Vajgl (Slovenia, ALDE)

Marian Harkin (Ireland, ALDE)

Jean Lambert (UK, Greens)

Claude Moraes (UK, S&D)

  • Members

Heinz K. Becker (Austria, EPP)

Ivo Belet (Belgium, EPP)

Brando Benifei (Italy, S&D)

David Cada (Malta, EPP)

Nessa Childers (Ireland, S&D)

Carlos Coelho (Portugal, EPP)

Andor Deli (Hungary, EPP)

Christian Ehler (Germany, EPP)

Jose Manuel Fernandes (Portugal, EPP)

Monika Flasikova-Benova (Slovakia, S&D)

Elene Gentile (Italy, S&D)

Arne Gericke (Germany, ECR)

Ana Gomes (Portugal, S&D)

Enrique Guerrero Salom (Spain, S&D)

Marian Harkin (Ireland, ALDE)

Katerina Konecna (Czech Republic, GUE/NGL)

Adam Kosa (Hungary, EPP)

Eduard Kukan (Slovakia, EPP)

Jean Lambert (UK, the Greens)

Olle Ludvigsson (Sweden, S&D)

Roberta Metsola (Malta, EPP)

Francisco Jose Millan Mon (Spain, EPP)

Marlene Mizzi (Malta, S&D)

Claudia Monteiro de Aguiar (Portugal, EPP)

Claude Moraes (UK, S&D)

Jozsef Nagy (Slovakia, EPP)

Lambert van Nistelrooij (NL, EPP)

Alojz Peterle (Slovenia, EPP)

Sirpa Pietikainen (Finland, EPP)

Paulo Rangel (Portugal, EPP)

Sofia Ribeiro (Portugal, EPP)

Robert Rochefort (France, ALDE)

Fernando Ruas (Portugal, EPP)

Csaba Sogor (Hungary, EPP)

Ivan Stefanec (Slovakia, EPP)

Jutta Steinruck (Germany, S&D)

Ivo Vajgl (Slovenia, ALDE)

Josef Weidenholzer (Austria, S&D)

Pablo Zalba Bidegain (Spain, EPP)

Jana Zitnanska (Slovakia, ECR)

Intergroup on Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity re-established!

Brussels, 11 December 2014

Decision on the European Parliament’s Intergroups

Today, the European Parliament has given its final approval on the establishment of Intergroups. AGE Platform Europe warmly welcomes the re-establishment of the long-standing Intergroup that will deal with ageing and intergenerational solidarity and looks forward to working with MEPs to help Europe address its demographic challenge in a positive way.

The re-establishment of this long-standing Intergroup is a big success for older citizens’ and their organisations. We have been working hard with our member organisations across the EU to raise awareness among new Members of the European Parliament and Commissioners on the need to address Europe’s demographic challenge in a way that is fair and sustainable for all generations,” said Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General, adding  “AGE Platform Europe agrees with President Juncker’s acknowledgement that Europe has not done enough yet to address population ageing and we believe such Intergroup will help the European Parliament voice older citizens’ concerns and recommendations in  EU policy debates that seek to help Member States address their demographic challenges “

“By joining the Intergroup on Active Ageing, Intergenerational Solidarity and Families Policies, MEPs can play a crucial role in proposing a vision of a society for all ages that supports the active participation of older citizens, enhances economic growth, supports greater social justice and cohesion and strengthens the rights and responsibilities of all generations”, Mrs Parent continued.

AGE Members look forward to collaborating with their MEPs, notably on President Juncker’s investment plan, the EC Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change and the adoption of the long-awaited equal treatment directive in order to tackle age discrimination and the rise of poverty among older persons. MEPs have a key role to play to help Europe remain the best place to age actively and healthily and this Intergroup will have the mandate to push for innovative and forward-looking policies and initiatives.

AGE will monitor and report on the Intergroup’s activities on its blog “Towards an Age-Friendly European Parliament” and we hope this blog will become a collaborative platform on what the new Parliament will do to address demographic change and to find fair and sustainable solutions for the future of all generations.

Last chance to support the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

Since the European elections, AGE is campaigning for the re-establishment of the long-standing Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. Members of the European Parliament will adopt the final list of Intergroups on 26 November. Time is then running to ensure that the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations makes it through during the vote!

How does it work?

Each political group has a limited number of Intergroups it can support. The two biggest, the Socialists&Democrats and the Christian-Democrats can support up to 22. The other groups can only support 7 or 9, according to their size.

To be established, an Intergroup needs the support from 3 political groups. Competition is thus hard to be in the priorities of the smaller political groups, i.e. the ones which can only support 7 or 9 Intergroups.

42 applications for Intergroups have been submitted and are now competing. They address a wide range of areas, such as climate change, childrens’ rights, antisemitism, energy, and sports.

We believe that re-establishing the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations is essential as it would bring an even greater added-value to future EP activities in this new term, notably in the light of the European Commission political guidelines in which President Juncker underlined the need for Europe to address population ageing.

Ready to help us?

Please contact your MEPs and ask them to promote the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations among their political group!

Need more information?

Do not hesitate to contact Ophelie Durand at AGE Secretariat: ophelie.durand@age-platform.eu or +32 2 280 14 70.

Support the re-establishment of the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations!

Intergroup logoTime is now running to re-establish the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations!

Political groups at the European Parliament will vote on the Intergroups on November 26. There is then one month ahead of us to convince MEPs that the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations is the right forum to address Europe’s demographic shift at the European Parliament.

MEPs have to fill in and send this form to MEP Heinz K. Becker (heinzk.becker@europarl.europa.eu) before 26 November and support the Intergroup within their political group.

Help us spread the word!