THE word “dependent” refers to people who, because of a lack or loss of physical, mental or intellectual autonomy, need assistance and/or help in order to accomplish their daily tasks.”
This is the definition of dependency issued by Council of Europe’s Council of Ministers in 1998. If we extrapolate the part of the definition about “needing assistance and help”, everyone could be considered a dependent person: the illusion of regarding ourselves as isolated individuals, masters of our independence and our lives, is nothing more than a fallacy. In fact, we need
one another’s support, not only physically, but mentally and intellectually as well.
This need forces us to establish relationships in the myriad ways to do it according to our nature, to the customs and to the law.
We can affirm that the main goal of our Group is just its existence, the fact of assembling 60.000 European members who share the common background of having worked for deeply-rooted, institutions, with a clearly popular and social orientation, and which have been serving some communities since the 19th century. Time has passed for our Group, and its members have now
a better knowledge of each others. As our Group becomes more united, we have also become aware of our power, not only because of the number of its members, but mainly because of the abilities and competences it has shown, especially during the Euromeetings. As the saying goes, “Together we shall overcome”. Together, we will be able to introduce ourselves internationally as
a consistent group, eager to act as a spokesperson and representative before any national orsupranational authority or body. Of course, we can make demands, but we can also offer something.
Collaboration, for instance, since our network of eight countries (which could be more), can be used to analyse and compare different situations, improvements or measures related to social affaires that could work for any country. We can already say that our Group is on its way to define and strengthen the role that we deserve in Europe, according to our number of members and our activities.
I am talking here about the forecast presented by our President, Mr. J.R. López, during the Assembly held in Islantilla, and that covers a large amount of ambitious proposals, among which we can recall:
• GETs (European Working Groups), a useful tool for the detection and analysis at a regional or national level of the current situation and improvements in social rotection and other elevant subjects. Its creation can be either spontaneous or at the request of the Group.
• TTs (Workshops), in charge of the assembling and processing of the information gathered by GETs.
• OPPS (Social Protection’s Constant Observatory), whose name states its function.
These are, among others, some of the activities designed to check and spread all the national measures regarding the dignity of us, retired people. Every year, there will be a main subject all these activities will have to focus on. During our last Euromeeting, this subject was the dependency, and we will keep working on it so that, at the next Euromeeting, we will put together the information gathered from several countries. This will
allow as to bring our conclusions to the attention of the cometent national authorities, as well as of EU’s political bodies.
Physical, mental or intellectual dependency. Maybe more than words, these are real situations, difficult to be analysed from a mere clinical perspective. There are several factors that can have an influence, and therefore, some measures or scales can be fairer than others. Our group can act as an efficient watchdog. The right word is interdependency.