EU Platform against Poverty is out: Time to make a real change for our most vulnerable older people!
Brussels, 16 December 2010
EU Platform against Poverty is out
Time to make a real change for our most vulnerable older people!
Today’s Communication on the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion confirms the European Commission’s engagement to actively promote social inclusion through the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Commission has recognised that “...the adequacy and long-term sustainability of pension systems is crucial for preventing and tackling elderly poverty”.This has a particular significance in today’s context when governments are introducing harsh budgetary austerity measures which will have a direct negative impact on the daily lives of millions of older people. “Member States will now have to explain what they propose to effectively prevent all aspects of poverty and social exclusion in old age such as lack of adequate pension, severe material deprivation which prevents older people from living in dignity, and shrinking access to basic services such as healthcare and long-term care or decent housing”, stressed Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General.
The Communication rightly points out that “given the present trends in pension provision, vulnerable groups and people with short or discontinuous work careers are likely to become increasingly dependent on minimum pensions and minimum income provisions for older people.” To help them make informed decisions and achieve the new Platform’s objectives, AGE recommends national governments to adopt measures to ensure that older people have access to the range of goods and services that are necessary to participate fully in society and live in dignity.
When implementing the Platform against Poverty, AGE urges the Commission and Member States to do their utmost to involve civil society as an equal partner to help shape social protection policies and to ensure broad public support for the upcoming reforms. The Communication recalls that “…over the last ten years, Member States have worked together and shared experiences on the functioning and the reform of their social protection systems.”AGE understands this statement as a commitment to build on the experience of the Social OMC. “This participatory method should guide the implementation of the Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, using its reporting mechanisms on social inclusion, pension and health and long term care”, concluded Anne-Sophie Parent.
Link to the press release
Link to the Commission's Press release
Link to AGE PR in word format