Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 4




THE cause of the elderly people has every day more important and effective defenders. Associations like ours and Conferences like the one celebrated in Alicante during our 5th Euromeeting are a good example of it. The media also dedicate wider attention to the different aspects of this problem, which is growing in the entire world.


With some differences, it could be said that in all European countries there are today three directions or ways in which society focuses the attention to the elderly: pensions, by which the pensioner is compensated for his-her contributions to the welfare state during his working life; exclusive activities for the elderly, like trips, shows, entertainment centres, residences or other special services; and the third way, by which the state, the region, the municipality and certain entities facilitate the elderly (who generally see their income diminished by their pensions) to benefit from culture, transport, tourism, gymnasiums, shows, and even some articles or consumer goods. All this together and in equality of circumstances with the people of any age, without evident distinction, reducing the prices and even granting some of these services for free.


It seems evident that this 'third way' is the one that most clearly contributes to put into practice the SOCIETY FOR ALL AGES so much advertised these days. The taboo in the elderly circles is isolation, and a marginalization more or less hidden implies being 'apart' when travelling, amusing oneself, or enjoying any kind of event. The advantages or concessions conditioned to the separation only intensify a sensation of confinement easily detectable.


To deepen in the equalling benefits is, on the contrary, the way of solidarity, the most fair and human that can follow administrative and political institutions, both present and future, reflecting progressively this policy by laws and budgets that contemplate the elderly's, the 'senior's' social integration with enough sensibility at all levels. Exclusive helps: only the absolutely necessary.


Once solved in great part the validity of European citizenship with the free circulation of people and capitals, many are in favour of the creation of a credential for the elderly that insures them the right to obtain benefits from that 'third way' in any country of the Union. We are in favour of the type of card used at cash dispensers and for other personal uses, and we think the name 65+ is very acceptable (or 60+, if it is thought convenient), a name that needs no translation. The Card 65+ would suppose, furthermore, the 'password' between the members of this numerous class (clase, classe, klass) that we have called JUBILAR (although it seems that in German this word has a commemorative meaning, that could be adopted) and that hopes to achieve pensioners' participation in all official institutions where decisions that affect them are made.


As a last comment on this 'third way' we are talking about, we manifest here our insistence: not to deny officially in any European state that pensioners be able to increase their income with part time or hourly jobs, as points out Eduardo Espert when referring to the elderly in Germany. In Spain, specifically, this possibility is unjustly forbidden. But this matter would require a space dedicated only for its proposition.


There is much to achieve in our campaign for the dignifying of the elderly, but there is something evident in this respect: the associative movement is absolutely necessary. Some active organisations are the best way to progress in achieving our goals.