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In the past term, the Intergroup subgroup on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations has held a series of events and drafted common amendments on key legislative and non-legislative files. In the article, we report on the main achievements of the group, year after year.
Events and conferences
- On 15/10/2014, Mr Heinz K. Becker, Mr Josef Weidenholzer and Mr Ivo Vajgl hosted an event with interventions from Ms Jean Lambert, Mr Eduard Kukan, Mr Brando Benifei, Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen and Ms Ana Gomes hosted a meeting discussing how to move forward on demographic change in Europe, reestablishing the intergroup on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. Representatives of senior citizens were present and exchanged with the newly elected MEPs
- On 4 December 2014, Mr Brano Benifei addressed AGE Platform Europe’s Annual Conference, with about 100 participating representatives of older people’s organisations from across Europe
- Common press releases of AGE and the Intergroup on the launch of the intergroup (January 2015) and on UN Day of older Persons (1 October 2015)
- On 15 June 2015, Mr Claude Moraes addressed a keynote to the workshop of AGE Platform Europe, the Concil of Europe, the European Commission and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutes on elder abuse
- Work of Intergroup Chair Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij on the Amsterdam Pact on Urban Development
- On 18 November 2015, Mr Marian Harkin, Mr Alojz Peterle and Mr Heinz K. Becker co-hosted a workshop in the European Parliament on the promotion of sports and physical activity for active and healthy ageing. This event was co-hosted by Mr Marc Tarabella, co-chair of the Intergroup on sports.
- On 07 December 2015, Intergroup members Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen and Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij supported, through her opening speech, the founding of the European Covenant on Demographic Change in the Committee of the Regions, creating an association of local and regional authorities, research institutions, industry and older people’s organisations to exchange on the creation of environments for all ages.
- On 26 April 2016, the Intergroup with Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij and Mr Brando Benfiei organised an EP event on the European Day of Solidarity between Generations on persisting forms of structural ageism and age discrimination in Europe, in collaboration with AGE Platform Europe and the European Youth Forum
- On 16 June 2016, the International Day for the Awareness of Elder Abuse, Mr Eduard Kukan addressed a workshop on fighting elder abuse in health and long-term care, organised by AGE Platform Europe, the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutes
- On 28/09/2016, the Intergroup and Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij and Ms Jean Lambert organised an EP event on the International Day of Older Persons on the possibility of a future UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons
- On 10 October 2016, Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij opened the EU Convenant on Demographic Change, gathering representatives of cities and regions, research institutes and the industry around the topic of age-friendly environments
- On 29 November 2016, Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen supported the final conference of the research project ‘Mobilising the Potential of Active Ageing in Europe’ through a keynote speech
- On 07 March 2017, an internal meeting of the Intergroup focussed on the European Accessibility Act
- On 27 April 2017, Mr Heinz K Becker, Mr Ivo Vajgl and Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij co-hosted an EP workshop on the European Social Partners’ Framework Agreement on Active Ageing and an Intergenerational Approach, the day after the publication by the Commission of the draft European Pillar of Social Rights. Mr Eduard Kukan also attended the workshop, presenting the European Parliament’s resolution on the implementation of the 2012 Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.
- On 20 June 2017, the Intergroup, more particularly Mr Heinz K. Becker, co-organised an event with the Intergroup on Common Goods and Public Services (chaired by Mr Jean-Paul Denanot) on the Silver Economy and Public Services. Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij also addressed the attendees of the event.
- On 21 June 2018, the Intergroup with Mr Heinz K. Becker, Mr Brando Benifei and Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij organised an EP event on intergenerational fairness, based on the outcomes of the 2018 Ageing and Pension Adequacy Reports. The event was supported by AGE Platform Europe and the European Youth Forum.
- On 26 June 2018, the Intergroup chair Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij organised a breakfast event together with the AAL Association and AGE Platform on Assistive Technologies
- On 6 December 2018, the Intergroup and Mr Lambert Van Nistelrooij hosted a discussion on the way forward to work on ageism, to close AGE’s 70-days #AgeingEqual campaign. This event was supported by the European Youth Forum.
- On 29 January 2019, the Intergroup jointly organised an event with the Urban Intergroup on the co-creation of digital public services for age-friendly cities and communities
- In February, the Intergroup hosted a kick-off event in the European Parliament premises in Brussels to launch the European Parliament elections campaign
Legislative and non-legislative files on which the intergroup worked 2014-2019:
Throughout the term
- The horizontal non-discrimination directive
- Draft horizontal non-discrimination directive
- Directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision
- Report on the European Semester: Annual Growth Survey 2015
- Report on the implementation of the 2015 priorities of the European Semester
- Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2013-2014)
- Report on the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020
- Report on the implementation of the European Year 2012 on active ageing and intergenerational solidarity, with Intergroup member Eduard Kukan being the rapporteur
- Report on meeting the antipoverty target in the light of increasing household costs
- Report on Erasmus+ and other tools to foster mobility in Vocational Education and Training – a life-long approach
- Report on the Annual Growth Survey 2016
- Report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Report on the application of the directive establishing a framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation
- Report on budgetary control of financing NGOs from the EU budget
- Report on work-life balance
- Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union 2015
- Report on Poverty: a gender dimension
- Report on the gender pension gap
- Report on the Annual Growth Survey 2017
- European Accessibility Act
- Report on the Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world and the EU’s policy in the matter 2015
- European Accessibility act
- Annual Report on human rights and democracy in the world and the EU’s policy on the matter 2017
- Annual Report on the Situation of Fundamental Rights in the EU in 2016
- Report on combating inequalities as a lever to boost job creation and growth
- Report on minimum income policies as a tool for fighting poverty
- Report on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions
- Report on the State of human rights in the world 2017
- Proposal for a Rights and Values Programme 2021-2027
- Proposal for an Erasmus Programme 2021-2027
- European Accessibility Act
- Report on care services for improved gender equality, prepared by Intergroup member Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen
- Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers, the rapporteur being Intergroup member Mr David Casa
- Report on the Integrated Employment Guidelines
- Report on Employment and Social Policies in the Euro area
- Report on Gender Equality and Taxation
- Proposal for the European Social Fund Plus 2021-2027
Proposal for a Horizon Europe Programme 2021-2027
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)