AGE General Assembly was held in the hotel CROWNE
PLAZA EUROPA in Brussels, on May 5th and
opening act was conducted by Liz Mestheneos (Greece), and it
was attended by 107 delegates of the 146 associate groups, representatives of 27
member states of the European Union.
This year I have been the only
representative of the Group, as our chairman, José Roberto López had to stay in
After closing the
statutory part of the assembly, the participants passed the change of name of
the association to
AGE Platform Europe
MORAL AND ACTIVITY REPORT
delegates attended the presentation of the moral and activity report 2009 of
Sophie PAREN, general manager, and Anne MENARD, communication
What should be highlighted in this
beginning of the First European
Conference for Solidarity, developed in collaboration with many
order to start the European
Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational
Solidarity in 2010
(intergenerational solidarity was the main subject in the Euromeeting held in
Toledo) our group will put forward its
conclusions in the next general assembly of the Platform.
Ø The participation in the tasks organized
by the Czech presidency on healthy ageing and dignity, so as to elaborate a charter on the rights of older people in
need of long term care. AGE demanded a prioritary use of the Structural Funds aimed at
fight against abuse
its collaborators have dealt with the drafting of this charter and the guide
that explains professional and informal carers and how to respect the rights of
elder people with examples of good practice. The process was sponsored by the
DAPHNE Programme. The
objective is to convince european officers to establish compulsory rules of
quality (concerning dignity, self-determination of private life, fight against
abuse and verification of the care conditions) to be applied in institutional
and home care.
Ø New technologies and the
AGE has taken part in a workshop organized
by the European Comission and the Parliament, presided by Viviane REDING,
european comissioner of Information Society and Means of
The tasks dealt with the role of new technologies in
the service of the elderly. The participation of representatives and
managers of the industrial sector enabled a step forward in the development of
new technologies adapted for the needs of elderly people and to reinforce
solidarity between generations.
Ø Adoption of the first common declaration
of AGE about this priorities for the next
2. AGE ACTIONS in several political documents
AGE collaborates with the consultative bodies created by
the Commission: European Health Forum- Social Protection
has the status of consultative member of EMEA (European Medicines
The following points include various
works developed by AGE:
Ø Opened letter to the European Union’s
Extraordinary Summit on the financial and economic
AGE explained the representatives of the
governments the concerns of its members about the impact of the crisis in
workers and the elderly, and reminded them of the healthy society that a
government must guarantee. It was also emphasized that governments
should return to the grounds that guarantee a decent salary for
Ø Intervention before the European ministers of Employment,
Social Affairs and Health, in the context of the fight against poverty and
social exclusion. AGE and
nine more NGOs work together in the
aim of this two-year project is to implement a programme of permanent civil
dialogue making social exclusion easier.
Ø AGE contribution to the debate on the future
strategic framework of the EU. Objective “Europe 2010”
Ø AGE actions against age
discrimination. Meetings with permanent representatives
in Brussels from
various Members to develop a report on the legal inaccuracies of articles 2.7
(insurances) and 4 (disabilities). Thanks to AGE, the age limits in travel
insurances and health and bank complements are a priority in the agenda of the
The dialogues with CEA (European Insurance Committee)
allowed a better understanding of the need to revise the notion of risk.
participates in the Legal Workshops of the European Commission to integrate the
jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice in order to determine if age
discrimination is against the Fundamental Rights.
Vice-President of AGE was
invited to the European Summit on
Equality with the European Women’s Lobby, to deal with the evolution and
adaptation of the law.
Ø AGE actions on
disabilities. AGE has joined the EDF (European Disability
Forum) to publish reference documents.
Ø AGE and the promotion of active
Against the age limit in European
After the direct action of AGE, The age limit has been
abolished in the European Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee
and the Europan Space Agency, among others.
Ø AGE actions on the recognition of
informal carers: Public spending in care services for the
elderly must be regarded as an investment in favour of the employment and not as
a burden for public finances.
Ø Development of Eustacea Project with the
support of the European Commission’s DAPHNE III Programme.
In collaboration with nine partner NGOs, AGE is working on
the draft of the European Charter of the
Rights of older people, to protect those who depend on a relative, a family
carer or long term assistance.
This guide was presented to professional
associates, informal carers and politicians in charge of health affairs on May
Ø AGE on health. AGE’s contribution to the determination of the
European Parliament on the coordination of resources and researches concerning
neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases) suffered by
more than 7.3 million people in Europe.
Ø AGE and the pharmaceutical pack In collaboration
with other NGOs, AGE obtained the annulment of a guideline called pharmaceutical pack created by the
Commission. On the pretext of informing the patients, it authorized the
publicity of laboratories in medicines only available on
President Barroso transferred the competence of this
task, which was in the hands of the Commission. From now on, the Health and
Consumers Commission will be responsible for the pharmaceutical pack.
PLENARY SESSION, May 6th
The meeting was held with the participation of Alice Sinigaglia, administrative and
assistant of the project, Dana Trama
ZADA, vice-president of the European Commission for Fundamental Rights and
Maude LUTHERNE, from the European
Parliament Liaison Office and the Intergroup of the European Parliament on
Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.
3. STRATEGIC PLAN
discussed the aims which will be included in the next triennial Strategic Plan
Active ageing and intergenerational
Employment for older people, education and training
Social inclusion and protection for the
Voluntary work of the elder
Health and long term care
Fighting the “digital gap”
Accesible built environment and public
4. AGE and European research projects
AGE’s commitment to active ageing and welfare of older
people has been reinforced by its participation in several european research
AALIANCE Project: Home
assistance and independence.
and development of health.
DREAMING Project: Research on vital and environmental parameters for
home care. FUTURAGE Project: research on health and ageing HOME
SWEET HOME Project: Supporting programme regarding home care
Project: created for those who suffer from mild cognitive
deficiencies. MEDIATE Project: AGE is in charge for the creation and management
of the user’s platform for the public transport accesibility. VERITAS Project: in this high-technology project, AGE means to draw
programmers' attention to the real needs of users to guarantee the
responsability of the organized forums.
Some impressions of this
This days full of exchanges and meetings with members of
other associations highlighted the next facts:
The economic crisis has brutally
raised awareness of the phenomenon of ageing as a great burden for
economy. It has also made the structure
deficiencies evident. The encouragement of active ageing is
essential if we do not want age to generate poverty and social
With our communications, the European Group raises the
demands of eight state members, and at the same time, cooperates with AGE by
providing the conclusions and syntheses of our work.
During this Assembly, I gave Anne Sophie
PARENT, general manager of AGE, the documents prepared by our chairman, José
Roberto López, which included the report on the Toledo Euromeeting and the
synthesis regarding economic discrimination.
As you might see, the activity report 2009 and the AGE
action plan 2010 mention the actions carried out about the matters which were
studied in the Group and have been the purpose of the synthesis and conclusions
of the last EUROMEETINGS. :
Sustainability of pensions (Siacca 2006); Health discrimination and abuse
(Albufeira 2008); Sociopolitical discrimination: age discrimination on
insurances (Santander 2009); Intergenerational solidarity (Toledo 2010).
During the meetings with the delegates we discussed the
inequality in the protection of the fundamental rights of European
are even more aware of the struggle ahead of AGE and its members.
Success is based on cooperation between
AGE Platform Europe and other partner associations as our
CHRÉTIENDeputy Chairman, France