Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 14




A person’s social dimension requires freedom in order to express one’s fullness. It is there, within the collectivity, where the individual claims it; not by way of isolation, but in groups. For that curious reason, we yield, for the benefit of living together, a part of freedom that we believe belongs to us. Freedom is not a state of being, but a never-ending road of progresses and drawbacks that one must travel even though our feelings, memories, habits… tyrannize and sieve our behaviour. Alone, we are doomed to fail or to be alienated.

We are living a crisis. Not only an economic crisis, but social, cultural, political and moral as well. Besides the confusion – that immobilizes – created in this new situation, there is hunger in places where, until now, has never been present, and growing conflicts between the different social groups. There is a lack of communication and scarce new and dynamic answers to resolve new situations and tendencies. The welfare state crisis creates discomfort, fragmentation of the different social groups, fears and egoism that do not contribute anything in the progression towards a new road that is to be built with the strength of everyone.

Queen Elizabeth II of England, in her Christmas message in 2006, said, besides other things, that the modern life pressures sometimes appear to weaken the family ties, and that ignorance and misunderstandings lead to a danger of a true separation between generations. This point of view constitutes an ever present discussion in multiple forums.

We must not forget that our community, which is experiencing the fastest growth in the population segments, poses several problems to the society.  Facing the unstoppable growth of medical expenses in this stage in life and the insufficient means to cover the population requests, all those arguments are the centre of the debate because of their importance. For example, the high costs of health care, the great vulnerability of the elderly people or the determination of priorities in medical treatments. Also, there are debates about who should benefit from it all: the individual, whoever is of that age, or the society.

The demographic increment worldwide, the concentration in big cities, migration, and the aging process, not only in the developed countries, are the big challenges that have to be faced. And we also must keep in mind the multicultural complexity.

It is not a matter of presenting a pessimistic view. It is simply an outline of the current situation, revealed in different media, that wants to stimulate our imagination in order to contribute to the building of a better future within our possibilities. The deep and authorized analysis of the described situation corresponds must be done by experts and the politicians in charge. We ask them to tackle it from their understanding. All the necessary changed should be based on this analysis. It is not enough to remain expectant from a privileged situation that probably will not arrive for our grandchildren to enjoy. The accelerating change of the world population pyramid forces a permanent search for answers and the demand of greater requirements, along with responsibilities, from the different social groups.

These responsibilities do not only reach us as an individual. As a collective group, they must be essential when defending our wellbeing. Without a doubt, our wellbeing will benefit everyone. Preventive health care; active participation in our associations that guarantees its renewal and permanency by means of statutory replacements and the carrying out of their purposes; and the contribution to the society with capacities, principles and useful experiences for the official institutions, administrations and politicians responsible of the decision-making process. These are essential attitudes that require altruism and solidarity.

The generosity of our spirit of dedication and service, the recognition of which we claim, legitimizes us to demand from the public powers the attention that our collective group of elderly and active people, growing everyday, needs and deserves.