AGE presents its manifesto to European People Party’s President

On 19 December 2018, AGE Secretary-General Anne-Sophie Parent was invited to meet the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Mr Joseph Daul and the Deputy-Secretary-General of the party. She discussed AGE expectations regarding the EU action to combat age discrimination and ageism, foster older workers’ access to the labour market, allow older persons to combine work and pensions and promote access to quality health and long-term care. Most proposals were met with enthusiasm by the EPP President.

Need to fight age discrimination as a clear signal to citizens

Ms. Parent outlined the challenge of clearly explaining to voters, especially older voters, what they can expect from the European Union and these elections, and how the European Parliament can influence older people’s lives. A concrete measure for this would be to make the fight against age discrimination and other grounds of discrimination more visible in EU internal and external action.’

JosephDaul_EPP_2
EPP President, Mr Joseph Daul


Caring for older people and their place in our societies is an important concern for the EPP. We must make sure that all generations can fully participate in the labour market and that nobody is discriminated because of age. We need safe and equitable pensions – for today and for future generations. Everybody should be able to live in dignity and to participate fully in our societies.’

Mr Joseph Daul, President of the European People’s Party

Employment and retirement policies that support active ageing

As Ms. Parent explained, combating age discrimination is also key for changing the perception of ageing and allowing older people to work for longer if they so wish. The EPP President agreed that it is a nonsense to prohibit working after retirement, as many sectors are lacking skilled workforce and work realities have changed in some sectors, making work less strenuous.

Both agreed that the EU has a role to play here. Ms. Parent shared some examples where AGE’s policy work has been decisive: in access to supplementary pensions, AGE successfully lobbied for reducing the vesting periods that workers need to start acquiring pension rights, a measure that benefits many younger workers who have much shorter job tenures in today’s labour markets.
    

Gender equality and solidarity between generations

Discussions also covered the crucial role of solidarity between generations, a key principle for AGE, as older people are first and foremost interested in the well-being of their grandchildren. Transformations such as the growth of new types of employment, that leave many young people without access to pension, unemployment or health insurance rights are a big challenge to them.

Furthermore, Ms Parent stressed the questions of gender equality, pointing out the large pension gap between women and men remaining and some pension reforms going against the idea of gender equality, such as the reintroduction of different pension ages for women and men. Both agreed that survivor’s pensions are an important right safeguarding many older women from old-age poverty.
  

The EU’s role in health policies

On health policies, Mr. Daul and Ms. Parent exchanged on the evolution in the European medicines market. Europe is more and more dependent on imports for basic medication, which poses not only a challenge for European jobs, but also for security from shocks in world trade and challenges for the security of drugs itself. This is a key area where the EU could take action to avoid shortages.

Mr. Daul and Ms. Parent convened that they would like to collaborate further to encourage older citizens to make an informed vote in this year’s European Parliament’s elections.
  

For more information, please contact Philippe Seidel Leroy at the AGE Secretariat: philippe.seidel@age-platform.eu 

Slovenia celebrates the EU Day on Solidarity between Generation during the f3ZO Festival

The EU Day on Solidarity between generations 29 April is celebrated in Slovenia with the Third Age Festival in Maribor from 25th to 27th April linked to the Children’s Bazaar. The EU day of intergenerational solidarity shall be celebrated and EU presented (»At Home in EU«). More information is available here.

F3ZO Festival

Od petka do nedelje, 25. do 27. aprila 2014, vas v Ledni dvorani v Mariboru na 2. F3ŽO Maribor čaka pestra ponudba informacij, izdelkov in storitev za starejše na razstavnih prostorih, brezplačne delavnice v izobraževalnem programu, glasbeni, gledališki, plesni in folklorni nastopi na odprtem odru, pa tudi sejemski popusti. Za popolno medgeneracijsko vzdušje bo festival poskrbel skupaj z družinskim sejmom Otroški bazar Maribor, ki se bo vse tri dni odvijal hkrati s F3ŽO Maribor.
Zato le povabite svoje prijatelje, otroke in vnuke in se skupaj odpravite na medgeneracijski izlet v Maribor! Pričakujemo vas vsak dan od 9. do 18. ure.

“DOMA SMO V EVROPI”

Veste, kaj je razlika med Evropsko komisijo, Evropskim parlamentom, Svetom Evropske unije in Evropskim svetom? Kakšne naloge opravlja Evropski parlament in kako lahko vplivate na njegove odločitve? Kakšne so vaše pravice kot državljana EU in kako jih uveljavljate? To in še marsikaj zanimivega boste izvedeli v okviru projekta “Doma smo v Evropi”, ki se bo predstavil na festivalu in s katerim bomo obeležili 10. obletnico vstopa Slovenije v EU. Na festivalu vas čaka informacijska točka z vsemi pomembnimi informacijami, svoje znanje o EU pa boste lahko preizkusili tudi v kratkem kvizu.

 

Saskia Bricmont: un projet écologiste européen pour les ainés

Saskia BricmontJe soutiens le Manifeste d’AGE. Parmi bien d’autres, je peux notamment épingler la proposition d’étendre le partage du temps de travail entre les générations (plan tandem), afin de privilégier l’allégement de la fin de carrière des travailleurs qui le souhaitent, le travail des jeunes et le partage des savoirs et des compétences entre les générations.

Le projet écologiste européen propose des mesures concrètes pour les ainés. De manière non exhaustive, Ecolo plaide pour :

1/ Une véritable politique sociale au niveau européen. Les mesures d’austérité pèsent sur nos systèmes sociaux et inévitablement sur la politique des ainés. La gouvernance économique européenne doit être réformée en vue de mettre la convergence et l’assainissement budgétaire au service des objectifs sociaux et environnementaux dans le court, moyen et long terme et de sortir ainsi des politiques dont le seul horizon est l’équilibre budgétaire.

2/ Un revenu minimum européen, fixé à 60% du revenu médian.

3/ Garantir l’accessibilité, entre autres aux TIC, afin de garantir l’inclusion et la participation des ainés à la vie sociale, culturelle, politique… et mettre en place les conditions d’une véritable société intergénérationnelle (secteur de la petite enfance, emploi (partage du temps de travail entre générations, …).

4/ Renforcer la coordination des Etats membres dans le domaine des services de santé et des soins, assurer un cadre à ces professions, notamment dans le cadre du maintien à domicile.

Saskia Bricmont se présente aux élections européennes en Belgique pour le parti ECOLO.

European Social Network: How can social services promote solidarity between the generations?

ESN_LOGOThe European Social Network brings together people who plan, manage and deliver public social services, together with those in regulatory and research organisations. ESN seeks to improve the quality of social services policy and practice through knowledge exchange and learning on a range of thematic and strategic management issues.

ESN members, local authorities, play an essential role in implementing the Social Investment approach promoted by the European Commission. Social services support people at critical junctions in their lives and target specific needs arising in life –from childhood, youth and transitions from school to work into parenthood and to old age. However, the economic crisis has had an impact on local and regional social services. It is likely that public expenditure is not going to increase, especially not with an ageing population.

Within our network of over 100 member organizations across Europe, we have started a practice-based discussion about reshaping services that goes along with a broader debate about the role of public authorities, service users and communities.  Many of our member organisations address the question of public responsibility and intergenerational solidarity at local level. Examples are:

  • The organisation Skills for Care (UK) has developed a ‘skills led approach’ to social care assessment. It is based on the approach that everyone in a local area has skills and knowledge that can be shared and improved in order to support individuals with care and support needs in their communities.
  • The city of Vienna (Austria) has developed the web tool “Voluntarily for Vienna” which matches the demands of organisations with the available resources of volunteers.
  • At public community forums in Dortmund (Germany) people within a community discuss social issues. These forms of political and local participation create empowerment, joint responsibility and the awareness that local government are not the only guarantors of social stability.

Moreover, public authorities also implement measures that enhance intergenerational cooperation in the social care sector, a sector that is facing workforce shortage:

  • The National Family and Social Policy Institute in Hungary implemented a 50 hours community service for students.  The after school programme involves opportunities in community service including those supporting older people and children and people with disabilities. This encourages students to develop civic responsibility and develops their confidence and future work skills.
  • The London Borough Redbridge has developed an apprenticeship scheme to attract younger people into the social care workforce and to ensure that future service delivery is tailored to the needs of a younger service user group. The apprenticeship has led to a 16% increase of staff aged 20-24 within three years.

More practice examples can be found here or for more information please contact Lisa Schönenberg, Policy Officer at ESN, at lisa.schoenenberg@esn-eu.org.

European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA): Voicing the young professionals’ opinion on where to begin for developing an age-friendly Europe

EMSA logoMedical students of all fields are eager and ready to join the efforts of bridging the gap between generations. With our kick-off joint statement released in 2013 with the Standing Committee of European Doctors on Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) we established a WG to brainstorm how physicians in-training can contribute to the increasing need for making the elderly population active and well-integrated within the younger generations.

EMSA advocates for better medical education in the fields of geriatrics, healthy lifestyle resulting in extended quality life-span as well as a battle against functional decline and frailty of the elderly patients. We encourage our members to organise projects with the aim of promoting knowledge in the field of active healthy aging: webinars, live discussion groups, on-line materials exchange.

In EMSA we believe that quality education and awareness-raising on healthy behaviours, starting from the very early age on, are the key for a healthier population in 20, 30, 40 years from now. To get a better health-care system and embrace the elderly tomorrow – let’s invest and educate the population of youth today.

Olga Rostkowska
president@emsa-europe.eu
http://www.emsa-europe.org