Council includes older persons in its external human rights action plan

Council logoAGE Platform Europe warmly welcomes the adoption of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019, which for the first time makes reference to the rights of older people among the EU external action priorities.

On 20th July 2015, the Council adopted the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019. This Action Plan opens a new cycle of implementation of the EU’s Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy. The revision of the EU strategic priorities is intended to respond to the new challenges as they arise. One of the new challenges recognised for the first time in the new Action Plan that binds the EU’s external action on human rights, is the promotion of the rights of older persons. Although it does not foresee a specific activity or measure, the inclusion of the rights of older persons in this plan is an important development as it recognises for the first time the role of the EU to increase awareness of the human rights and specific needs of older persons paying particular attention to age-based discrimination.

The responsibility for carrying out this action lies with the High Representative/Vice President assisted by the European External Action Service (EEAS), and with the Commission, the Council and Member States. Moreover the Action Plan envisages the close involvement of the European Parliament and regular consultation with civil society organisations.

AGE Platform Europe greatly appreciates that the Council has taken on board our calls for the inclusion of the rights of older people among its priorities. This is a first step towards rectifying the existing invisibility of older people’s rights, which contradicts article 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights on the rights of the elderly. We now hope that the Council and the European Commission will show the same determination by including a specific priority for the EU’s internal action.
We also welcome the reference to internal-external coordination in the context of dialogues with civil society, which is another issue we brought forward in our letters and position statements.

The Action Plan also foresees the development by 2016 of an EU Toolkit on Anti-discrimination, outlining tools for anti-discrimination measures against all forms of discrimination, including multiple forms of discrimination.

Click on this link to access the Action Plan: EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019

For more information you may contact Nena Georgantzi,

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