JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, Belgium – 29 September 2020
Older people’s organisations call for the urgent implementation of the EU Council conclusions to strengthen the rights of older people
Adequate budgets and qualified human resources are required
The European umbrella organisation of older people’s organisations – AGE Platform Europe, and the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations – BAGSO, call on the German Presidency and all other European governments to urgently implement the Council conclusions on “Human rights, participation and well-being of older persons in the era of digitalisation” put forward by the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020.
For the first time in 10 years, older people are in the centre of such a EU-Council decision.
In a joint civil society statement, AGE Platform Europe and BAGSO call concrete measures for the timely implementation of the Conclusions. This must include the allocation of adequate budgets and qualified human resources at both national and EU levels. AGE and BAGSO applaud the 5-year action plan foreseen to enhance the autonomy of older persons and promote their active participation in shaping a Europe for all generations.
“Increasing digitalisation comes with tremendous opportunities and challenges for living in old age. We call on the German Presidency of the Council and all other European governments to pay particular attention in their future policies to the digital divides that exist within the older population” , reacted Heidrun Mollenkopf, member of the BAGSO Executive Board and Vice-President of AGE Platform Europe.
“All older people must have the right to access digital information, services, and social networks, regardless of their financial resources or place of living. New legislation is needed at national and global levels to guarantee the equal enjoyment of these human rights by all older men and women” added Mrs. Mollenkopf.
The Council conclusions and related civil society statement follow a two-day international conference on “The Rights of Older People in Times of Digitalisation”, organised by the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, AGE Platform Europe, and BAGSO. The conference was attended by high-level officials from the European Commission and several EU Member States as well as representatives of European older people’s organisations.
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