Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


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Group of European Retired Staff and Pensioners

From Savings Banks, Banks and Related Institutions




0. Introduction

The current proposal is the result of some comments and reflections made at the last Euromeeting 2004 in Salou and of two days of work carried out at Toulon on the 18th and 19th of February, specially aiming to make our Group and our Euromeetings more dynamic. The aforementioned days of work were carried out by the Executive Committee, counting, besides, with the collaboration of Jean-Claude Chrétien from the French Federation. The planned acts are presented at the General Assembly for its approval, if necessary.

1. Historical reference

Some short reflection about the different stages of our Group’s history. The first one,  with mister Bernabeu, was a stage of establishment, the task of creating and founding its organization. The second stage was the one of consolidation and our current Honour President José Lidón has a lot to do with it. Euromeetings have been an efficient way of contributing to the Group’s consolidation.

Nowadays, we already have a running organization and we are right in the middle of the third stage that we define stage of development and action, in which the collaboration of all of us is needed insofar as we can.

2. The Group’s and Euromeetings’ prospects

It is appropriate to tackle this third stage by setting up work policies and programming the acts needed for its  development:

2.1.         Setting up aims.

Fixing of aims on short-, medium- and long-term.

2.2.              European Workgroups (GET)

Creating European Workgroups, in the different countries of the Group’s boundary, constantly in charge of analysing and of following the evolution of concrete and current aims indicated by the Group as well as the ones caused by specific facts or circumstances.

2.3.              Workshops (TT)

Carrying out, during the Euromeetings, Workshops that may allow us to interchange and complete the GET’s tasks by preparing proposals of which could be the Group’s position in the matter, in order to present them at the Assembly.


2.4.         Bringing conclusions to the attention of the competent authorities.

The General Assembly, which takes place during the Euromeetings, will validate the proposal of the Group’s position in the different matters. This conclusion will be presented and defended, if necessary, in the presence of the competent authorities of the countries of the Group and the EU area.

2.5.         Social Protection’s Constant Observatory (OPPS)

Creating a Constant Observatory for the interchange of information, between the Federations and Associations, about Social Protection and about the improvements or modifications that could be interesting.

The OPPS can be organized with the following acts :

·         Compilation of specialized press articles and newspapers about the retired persons and the older people.

·         Compilation of jurisprudences regarding legal actions fostered by any association of retired persons or older people.

·         Compilation of legislative texts regarding Pension Funds, Public Health, Reliance and Disability.

·         Distribution of all the information received by AGE European Older People’s Platform about its activity, its programmes, its relationships, etc.

2.6.         Horizontal Information

Creating the Horizontal Information system presented at the General Assembly of Salou, for the interchange of information commended to the Social Protection’s Constant Observatory.

2.7.              Collaboration with AGE

Collaboration with the AGE European Older People’s Platform work programmes.

2.8.         Integration of new associations

Sponsoring the integration of new associations from the EU member states.

2.9.         Relationships with other organizations

Establishing relationships with other organizations pursuing our same aims.

In order to start these acts each  Federation or Association in the Group member countries needs to name someone responsible of its Working Group. The GET members will be named according to its suitability or knowledge of the subjects that must be analysed. The ones named to be responsible will have to act as moderator of  the GET responsible of the OPPS.

3.         Aims

The axis of our policy that must represent a priority for us are  : Pensions, Public Health, Social Protection and Sociopolitical Representation.

We can assert that, currently, more than the economic comfort, what worries us most is the health protection. It will have to be our main issue of analysis on a short term.

The following points make up a set of medium and long-term aims that should be analysed and studied by the GETs.

3.1.              Public Health.

·         Public Health aids to the older people

·         Public Health discrimination against older people

·         Preventive medecine’s situation

3.2.              Pensions

·         Maintaining the pensions and to update constantly its purchasing power

·         Matching the system of pensions’ evolution taking into account the population’s aging

·         Updating the widow’s pensions

3.3.              Social Protection

·         State laws of social protection to the dependent older people

The legislative system should be world-wide, public, with the same access for everybody, and should pay a special attention to the help given at home, the phone attendance, rooms in homes for the aged with or without medical attention, etc...

3.4.              Sociopolitical representation

·         In Health public bodies and complementary health bodies

·         In bodies with legislative authority at a:

o        Municipal

o        Regional

o        State

o        European Union level.

·         At Governing Boards of Savings Banks or Pensions’ Complementary Funds.

·         At the Public and Representative Authorities which have direct influence on the issues of the retired persons and the older people.

These ideas are linked to those expressed at Salou Euromeeting’s final conclusions, at the French Federation’s Assembly and on the article “Not eurosceptical nor europassive”, published on Euromeetings’ bulletin.

In order for this proposal to become a reality, we will need to find some partners from different Federations and Associations willing to collaborate, people who consider these aims an important issue for retired and older people, and who will be able to do their best to influence in every matter regarding the benefits we receive.

4.                 Remarks

We reproduce the following articles from the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe because of their relevance for our collective.

  1. Article II-85. An article about older people’s rights. “The Union recognises and respects the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life”. However, it does not include any kind of mention about their active role in politics. 
  2. Article II-95. An article about health care. “Everyone has the right to access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices. A high level of human health protection shall be ensured in the definition and implementation of all Union policies and activities”.

The following remarks about Spain can be an example of the tasks entrusted by this proposal to the Social Protection Constant Observatory.

  1. Regarding public health, the Spanish Government wants the citizenship participation to be one of the pillars of the benefits linked to the ageing, a kind of benefits that are currently a competence of the health system and that cause a high financial pressure on it. The government seems to opt for a mixed funding that will include a joint participation in the benefits from everyone. 

    At present, people in Spain have to wait a long time before being operated or undergoing some specific specialities’ tests in hospitals managed by the public health system.  
  2. According to Spanish Ministry of Employment, on December 31st, 2004, Spanish social security system had a provident fund of 19.330,40 millions euros, a figure equivalent to 2,60% of its GDP, or, in other words, equivalent to four pensions’ monthly payments (4.598,16 millions euros in December 2004).

On February 11th, 2005, the Spanish Government injected 3,5 billions euros into this social security’s provident fund, which has raised the total amount of money to 23.083 millions euros, in other words, 2,9% of Spanish GDP or more than five pensions’ monthly payments. This provident fund was created in 2000 in order to accomplish the second of the recommendations set out during Toledo’s agreements, a series of talks held in 1995 with the participation of all political parties, and whose aim was to tackle social security’s future planning.

  1. Meanwhile, the Government warns that the pensions system may suffer from deficit in 12 or 15 years time unless social security system is modified. That reform seems to be the introduction of “contribution culture” so that workers understand that the amount of their pensions does not depend on “the government on duty”, but on the contributions to the system. These warnings are the result of the alarming people’s ageing tendency.

According to figures from Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Communities) released by the Spanish Institute for Economic Studies, 16,3% of EU’s population is 65 or older, a percentage that reaches 16,9% in Spain, a country that is in fifth place in EU’s overall ranking.