As the Bulgarian presidency of the European Union came to an end this 30th June 2018, AGE met its member, the Bulgarian Red Cross, in their headquarters in Sofia to discuss their assessment of the presidency and their ambitions as a way forward.
Over the six-month presidency, the Bulgarian Red Cross contributed with its grassroots experience of social issues to the Social Forum organised at the beginning of the Presidency in February 2018, taking advantage of the political momentum created with the release of the European Union Pillar of Social Rights and discussions around the future of the Social Funds.
“This was a successful presidency; we are glad to have been associated to several major events and to have had the opportunity to host a few meetings with national societies from Europe“ said Dr. Sofia Stoimenova, Director General of the Bulgarian Red Cross (BCR).
The ageing demographics are obviously an important challenge to be addressed in European and national social policies. The Bulgarian Red Cross thus took advantage of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU to welcome their fellow national societies in the region to make them benefit from their important positive know-how in relation to the provision of services to older people.
At international level the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) continues to call for the eradication of all forms of ageism, improving the access to care and the right to a dignified life of older people. In November 2016 the IFRC published the Healthy Ageing Toolkit, elaborated with the active participation of different National Societies including Bulgaria. Furthermore, the IFRC Regional Office in Budapest, which is covering 54 countries across Europe, is working very actively towards the elaboration of a position paper on ageing.
Read the portrait of the Bulgarian Red Cross