20 years of AGE, and so much to come!
Our network is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021. The celebrations are not only the opportunity to look in the rear-view mirror. In the middle of a pandemic, we made it a point to stay connected, and to prepare for the future. Together.
Three founding members
In 2000, three organisations of older people – Eurolink Age from the UK, EPSO from the Netherlands, and FIAPA from France – decided to create AGE Platform Europe. A year later, in May 2001, our statutes where registered for the first time under Belgian law. And soon the secretariat of the network settled in the capital of the European Union.
Over 20 years, our network grew from 3 founding members to 108 member organisations at the time of writing this paper. The small secretariat of 2 staff of 2001 developed into a team of 13 employees supporting the daily work of the network. And our budget went from 340.000€ at the beginning of the decade to more than 1.3M€ in 2020.
Ageing as a human right’s issue
The recent years were marked by a number of important policy shifts recognising ageing as a human rights’ issue. But these developments build on steps taken sometimes a long time ago…
Check our timeline below to get an understanding of how debates and mobilisation of older people in Europe evolved over the past 20 years!
A renewed mission for 2022-2025
Adopted at AGE General Assembly on 1st June 2021, our new strategy for 2022-2025 reaffirms our vision for a society for all ages. AGE policy priorities for the future are clear:
- Priority 1: work towards the adoption of an EU Age Equality Strategy
- Priority 2: facilitate the rallying for a UN convention on the rights of older people
- Priority 3: secure the sustainability of the network in terms of representativeness of older people, ownership of the network by its members, and diversification of income sources
With this horizon in mind, AGE will continue in the coming years to:
- VOICE the aspirations and needs of older people in Europe
- TRANSFORM our members’ experiences and ideas into policy proposals
- SUPPORT our members’ engagement in matters that affect them
Starting in 2022, AGE will dedicate its efforts and resources to establishing a sound cooperation with the next trio of presidencies of the Council of the EU composed of France, Czechia, and Sweden. And we will keep enlarging our strategic partnerships to ensure AGE’s sustainability for the future.
This age is the AGE of CONNECTION!
In pandemic times, we have seen more than ever how important human interaction is to the happiness and wellbeing of all. As AGE turns 20 years old, we asked our community what CONNECTION means to them.
We would have loved to celebrate in person. But to bolster our efforts to contain the virus, we prefer to invite you to connect with us online. At the crossroads of our achievements and plans for the future, we are delighted to organise a joint European conference next 18 November.
Entitled “Human rights for all ages: Promoting a lifecourse approach and intergenerational cooperation to combat ageism”, the event is organised in cooperation with the Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and our member the Federation of Pensioners’ Associations of Slovenia.
We look forward to celebrating ageing with you!
by Estelle Huchet, AGE Membership and Campaigns Officer