AGE- the European Older People’s Platform

Download Report

Transcript AGE- the European Older People’s Platform

AGE Platform –
Growing old in Europe: challenges
and ways forward – setting the scene
Dr. E. Mestheneos, Vice-President AGE-Platform
Madrid 2007
What is AGE-Platform?
 brings together seniors’ organisations, and other civil society
organisations working with and for older people from across the
European Union to give a strong and credible voice to the
views, needs and interests of older and retired people at
national and European level.
 aims to act as a bridge between its member associations and
the EU Institutions, supporting its members in their daily
advocacy activities at national level, actively representing their
interests and agreed policy positions at European level and
raising awareness of the issues that truly concern older people.
 is a non-profit making international association, financed by
membership fees and subsidies from the European
Demographic challenges
Every EU country has seen a decline in birth rates and an
increase in longevity. Every year 3 months more are added to
life expectancy (every ten years 2.5 years. Already a third of the
population is over 50, with the greatest proportional growth in
those over 80 years of age. Politicians see it as a national issue
but it is common throughout EU. Hence the interest at EU level
on how to address these new challenges.
The debate on population ageing has tended to focus on what
are presented as negative quantitative changes :
pensions and health care expenditure,
older worker employment rates  old-age dependency ratios etc.
Important issues about how politically, economically and socially
we manage these, but we should not ignore the qualitative
changes we shall need in our societies.
EU and MS Policy and Older
EU competes with world – concern with productivity and the availability of
labour in the future. Lisbon strategy aims to increase the labour market
participation of those over 50 in the labour market – this requires changes in
mind sets/attitudes
behaviour of employers, HR managers, line managers, policy makers,
employment services and older workers themselves.
Some MS already succeeding in this aim – high variations in participation rates
Employment Policies have to adjust to the ageing population in all areas –
 pension systems
 health and well being at work,
 transport and accessibility
 training
 active employment measures for older workers
Older Workers
Majority less educated than younger generations but large MS
variation and large individual variations.
In most M.S. governments and employers provide very low levels
of training for older workers. Training often inappropriate,
designed for the minds of young people and not those of older
Lower level of familiarity with ICT.
Early retirement schemes, available in earlier decades, have
influenced expectations.
These schemes also generated negative attitudes amongst
managers, line managers and many workers towards the
retention, recruitment, career development and training of older
Bad or inadequate management especially in the public sector
and in small and medium enterprises works against older
Age discrimination is probably the most widespread form of
discrimination. Legislation is not enough to change this.
Confronting an Ageing Workforce.
Gathering of “Good Practice Examples by
Employers” to promote Older worker
employment – since1995 – dissemination
through social partners.
 Age discrimination in employment legislation
now in place and being monitored and promoted
in all MS.
 Efforts through EQUAL, Article 6 (ESF)
Leonardo, Grundvig EU funded projects to find
best practices to promote older people’s
employment. CAWA a specific detailed study of
actions by sector and in cooperation with social
AGE-PLATFORM’s contribution:
Basic Principles.
A change of attitudes is needed if society is to
become a society for all ages.
 Age discrimination is a reality that impacts
negatively on the lives of individuals and on our
communities and societies; age discrimination
must be challenged in all spheres.
 Promotion of real choice in employment
 Older and retired people should be able to
speak out on their own behalf.
Older and/or retired people are not a homogenous
group, but rather there is great diversity among older
and/or retired people, which must be respected.
Civil dialogue should recognise and take account of
older and retired people.
Increased longevity is a tremendous social
achievement, which should be welcomed.
We need to recognise, rather than fear, the effects
of demographic ageing and reflect seriously on the
opportunities and challenges that it poses.
The agenda on age should be based on
recognition of the fundamental rights of people of
all ages
The major contribution of older people to
society should be recognised and not be
rooted exclusively in economic necessity
created by demographic ageing of labour
There needs to be a greater recognition and
understanding at European level of the impact
of European policies on older and/or retired
AGE’s main activities:
The fight against Age Discrimination
Social Protection (Pensions)
Health and Long Term Care
Social Inclusion
Universal accessibility and Independent
living: New technologies, transport and
the built environment
AGE Vision
is of a society for people of all ages where
individuals enjoy equal rights in terms of their
living conditions, their economic situation,
their participation as citizens and their
access to goods and services. We believe
that the achievement of age equality will not
only benefit older individuals as citizens and
give the proper value to their wisdom,
experience and personal characteristics; it is
also in the interest of society in general.
Why is the involvement of grass roots
organisations important to the work AGE does
at EU level?
 Participation
 Consulation
 Information
 Collaboration
 Commitment
 Control
Towards a European society of all ages
Dr. Elizabeth Mestheneos
AGE- The European Older People’s
Rue Froissart 111
1040 Bruxelles, Belgique
Tel: +32 (0) 2 234 65 53
[email protected]
Mob. +306972292045