JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, Belgium – 13 October 2020
On 9 October, the Council of the European Union adopted the Conclusions on “Human Rights, Participation and Well-Being of Older Persons in the Era of Digitalisation”.
AGE Platform Europe and BAGSO, the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations applaud the prompt adoption of these Conclusions and the political leadership proven by Member States in renewing their approach to ageing policies. The two organisations, which have been consulted during the drafting process, particularly welcome the Council’s invitations to:
- focus on the impact on human rights when shaping national exit strategies from the pandemic and the EU Green Paper on Ageing;
- mainstream ageing to consider the impact of policies on today’s generation as well as anticipate consequences on the next generations of older people;
- involve older people in decision-making processes affecting their lives;
- strengthen intergenerational bonds to challenge stereotypes and prejudices against both younger and older people and promoting age equality.
“The strong human rights anchor of the Conclusions is a decisive shift in the way decision-makers address ageing in Europe. It recalls the principle that Europeans of all ages should be treated on equal footing. Dedicating a chapter of the upcoming EU Green Paper on Ageing to the rights of older persons is a first concrete step to translate our fundamental rights into reality” commented Maciej Kucharczyk, Secretary General of AGE.
“These conclusions recognise the unique experience of ageing in today’s changing world. Digitalisation, climate change, health crises – all impact older people in different ways depending on their place of living, economic situation, health status, abilities, gender, etc. We need a more accurate understanding of this diversity to develop policy responses that protect everyone’s wellbeing and dignity” added Heidrun Mollenkopf, member of the BAGSO Executive Board.
The two civil society organisations invite the European Commission and Member States, in accordance with their competences, to build on the Conclusions by:
- Addressing social inequalities from the earliest age to ensure we can all stay healthy and preserve our capacity to participate as we grow older;
- Exploring further the impact of growing old for those who already experience social exclusion and discrimination on other grounds;
- Taking a leading role in advancing the discussions at the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing to protect older people’s rights around the globe.
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