AGE Platform Europe: Candidates for European elections: Listen to older people’s voice and enforce their rights to live and age in dignity!
The current rising nationalism and euroscepticism make it critical for the EU to get closer to its citizens and hear their voices. In view of the upcoming European Parliament elections, older people and their organisations across the EU call on MEP candidates to ensure that everyone is valued and empowered to lead an active and autonomous life regardless of age, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. In an ageing Europe, the aspirations, needs and concerns of 190 million Europeans aged 50 and above can’t be ignored.
‘Enabling all citizens to continue to enjoy autonomous life and fully participate in society when they age should be a priority for our decision makers, as we want the increase in life expectancy to be a real positive societal achievement’, states Ebbe Johansen, President of AGE Platform Europe, during AGE Annual Conference and General Assembly on 6-8 June 2018.
As showed during our3-day event, social participation, the right to autonomy and independence, and the quality care and assistance to live in dignity are major concerns as people get older. Our EP election Manifesto, adopted by AGE members on 7 June, gives key recommendations to MEP candidates, namely on:
• combating ageism and age-discrimination;
• creating inclusive labour markets;
• ensuring adequate pension and old-age income;
• ensuring quality and affordable health care;
• promoting health and well-being ;
• enabling universal access to goods, housing and services ; and
• empowering older citizens to fully participate in the social, cultural and democratic life.
AGE Annual Conference 2018 also shed light on an issue that is often ignored while crucial to the protection of older persons’ human rights and dignity: the right to self-determination in old age. Participants shared testimonies where older people are prevented from enjoying autonomous lives and taking decisions on issues that concern them as citizens, consumers or workers in settings of care and support. AGE members urge the future MEPs to keep the right to self-determination of older persons high on the agenda of the future European Parliament.
AGE event coincided with the release by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) of its 2018 Fundamental Rights Report, which underlines the need to broaden protection against discrimination on the grounds of age by adopting the EU Equal Treatment Directive. “Anti-discrimination provisions must go beyond employment to cover access to goods and services, including housing, healthcare, financial services etc.”, insisted Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General. “We count on the EU to be the champion in promoting equal treatment for older people and to ensure that all Europeans can enjoy their freedom to make choices and live as autonomously and independent as possible throughout their whole life, including in very old age.”, she concluded.