AGE presents its manifesto to EPP President Joseph Daul

On 19 December 2018, AGE Secretary-General Anne-Sophie Parent was invited to meet the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Mr Joseph Daul and the Deputy-Secretary-General of the party. She discussed AGE expectations regarding EU action to combat age discrimination and ageism, foster older workers’ access to the labour market, allow older persons to combine work and pensions and promote access to quality health and long-term care. Most proposals were met with enthusiasm by the EPP President.

Need to fight age discrimination as a clear signal to citizens

Ms. Parent outlined the challenge of explaining clearly to voters, especially older voters, what they can expect from the European Union and these elections, and how the European Parliament can influence older peoples’ lives. A concrete measure for this would be to make the fight against age discrimination and other grounds of discrimination more visible in EU internal and external action.’

Caring for older people and their place in our societies is an important concern for the EPP’, Mr. Daul told AGE. ‘We must make sure that all generations can fully participate in the labour market and that nobody is discriminated because of age. We need safe and equitable pensions – today and for future generations. Everybody should be able to live in dignity and to participate fully in our societies.’

Employment and retirement policies that support active ageing

Mr. Daul and Ms. Parent discussed the role of solidarity between generations, which is crucial. Ms. Parent highlighted that this is a key principle for AGE, as older people are first and foremost interested in the well-being of their children and grand-children. Transformations such as the growth of new types of employment, that leave many young people without access to adequate pension, unemployment or health insurance rights are a big challenge that AGE wish to be addressed at EU level.

Furthermore, Ms. Parent stressed the questions of gender equality, with an increasingly large pension gap between women and men and some pension reforms being detrimental to gender equality, such as the reintroduction of different pension ages for women and men. Both agreed that survivor’s pensions are an important right safeguarding many older women from old-age poverty.

Gender equality and solidarity between generations

Mr Daul and Ms Parent discussed the role of solidarity between generations, which is crucial. Ms Parent highlighted that this is important to AGE, as older people are first and foremost interested in the well-being of their grandchildren. Transformations such as the growth of new types of employment, that leave many young people without access to pension, unemployment or health insurance rights are a big challenge to them.

Furthermore, Ms Parent stressed the questions of gender equality, with a large pension gap between women and men remaining and some pension reforms going against the idea of gender equality, such as the reintroduction of different pension ages for women and men. Both agreed that survivor’s pensions are an important right safeguarding many older women from old-age poverty.

The EU’s role in health policies

On health policies, Mr. Daul and Ms. Parent exchanged on the evolution in the European medicines market, with Europe being more and more dependent on imports for basic medication – this poses not only a challenge for European jobs, but also for security from shocks in world trade and challenges for the security of drugs itself. This is a key area where the EU could take action to avoid shortages.

Mr. Daul and Ms. Parent convened that they would like to continue to collaborate to encourage older citizens to make an informed vote in next year’s EP elections.
  

For more information, please contact Philippe Seidel Leroy at the AGE Secretariat: philippe.seidel@age-platform.eu 

 

 

 

Monday 07 January 2019
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