Regranting: AGE members’ mobilization for the European elections 2024

Six months to go, and all European citizens will elect their representatives at the next European Parliament for the period 2024-2029.

Ahead of this electoral appointment, AGE financed three small-scale projects in 2023, aimed to align the commitments of MEP candidates to AGE proposal for a European strategy for age equality.

After six months of intense exchanges and work, we can proudly share their main achievements!

Amidst countless constraints, three projects successfully run in three countries:

  • the Cyprus Third Age Observatory (CTAO) organized a high-level political conference on healthy and dignified ageing and related media campaign in Cyprus (20.000EUR budget).
  • Bonum Vitae implemented a series of trainings for local leaders addressed to older people and their organisations in 7 regions throughout Poland, to raise awareness on age equality and to prepare them for the role of self-advocates in European elections (30.000EUR budget).
  • 50+ Hellas organized a high-level conference on age equality and participation in Greece, underpinned by communication materials (20.123 EUR budget).

These organisations were challenged by both internal and external constraints: the outburst of the Middle East crisis, the war in Ukraine, the media coverage not prioritizing the electoral debates, the internal political crisis and government’ resignations in Greece, national and local elections in Poland, internal scissions in political groups, wildfires and floods… The second semester of 2023 was not particularly generous of occasions to a fruitful political discussion on a society for all.

Despite the many challenges, the three projects managed to:

  • Organise more than 20 meetings with political parties and policy-makers.
  • Sensitize 14 local authorities on the issues of ageing and on the human rights-based approach to ageing.
  • Implement extensive media campaigns, reaching over 300 000 people across social media, newspapers, TV and radio broadcasts.
  • Mobilize local non-governmental associations, local government units, senior councils, third age universities for a grassroot participation.

Beyond these concrete outputs, there are some additional positive outcomes to highlight, well expressed by the 50+ Hellas’ project coordinator:

Several representatives of the older person’s organizations stated that they were not aware of all the issues involved and indicated that they would seek cooperation with 50Plus. There were representatives of older women’s organizations who emphasized the double challenge of being older and a woman. In addition, one of the MEPs is himself a person with a disability, so his statement covered the difficulties of older and disabled citizens, considering that some of the disabilities are characteristic of older age. 50Plus Hellas has significantly increased its visibility. We have several suggestions for joint action, and it seems we have managed to be heard by the politicians. We already had a high-level meeting with the policy-making group of the ruling party, Nea Dimokratia, who seemed impressed by the comprehensive range of proposals contained in the AGE Manifesto and promised to come back to us soon. We are sending letters requesting similar meetings with the other parties as well.”

In Cyprus,one MEP has shown remarkable initiative to assemble an informal committee of MEPs. This committee will be dedicated to actively promoting the views and objectives of AGE, signifying a notable advancement in political advocacy for ageing issues”. In her words “The commitment to the rights and well-being of older people has been publicly endorsed by various political parties, reflecting a strong consensus on the importance of creating inclusive societies for all ages […] and it leads us to confidently anticipate that these issues will be incorporated into their pre-electoral programs. Notably, the Socialist Party has already taken proactive steps in this direction. Their General Manager has demonstrated support for these principles through their social media platforms, setting a positive example for other parties and leaders to follow. This level of engagement and commitment from political entities is a promising indication of the growing prioritization of age-related issues in the political discourse”.

Bonum Vitae’s coordinator recalled that “There were also difficulties… Although we rightly assumed that the period of the parliamentary election campaign in Poland and the election date, October 15, would be favourable for talks about politics […], we didn’t think it would be much more difficult to meet politicians! Because they have their own calendar, route and meeting places, their carefully researched and selected electorate, etc. And, above all, they meet with voters to talk – to make promises, not to listen”. But this did not discourage the association, whose project was aimed at the education of older people first, through trainings and meeting to raise their awareness, provide them with materials and allow them to become self-advocates and inspire others. “And it worked. We want to continue this process so that next spring as many older people as possible in Poland will become advocates for their issues, consciously vote in the European Parliament elections and be able to exercise their rights”.

These are very practical success stories that will be hopefully replicated in 2024. In February 2024, the new call for projects addressed to newly elected MEPs will be out: all AGE full members are encouraged to apply, and a total envelop of 180.000EUR is available to finance advocacy at national and local level in 2024.

Are you willing to give a try this year?

We would love to hear more from you!



Ilenia Gheno

Project Manager

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