10th edition of the Summer Academy

Already for the 10th time, seniors from all over Europe gathered in Vienna for the yearly Summer Academy at the Politische Akademie der ÖVP. From the very start in the history of the Summer Academy, one could notice the eagerness and enthusiasm of the diverse group of seniors that participated in the various sessions. From North to South, from West to East, all regions were represented during these 10 years of sharing insights and experiences. And that is the key to the success: the unprejudiced attitude of connecting with others. Thanks to the Politische Akademie der ÖVP, the Martens Centre, the Österreichischer Seniorenbund and the EPP, we were able to build up this tradition and gather in Vienna.

Also this year’s festive edition was well-received by all participants. During the Presidium and Executive Committee, we were proud to grant the Kovács K. Zoltán Seniors’ Club Association (IKE) the observer status in the ESU and welcomed them for the Summer Academy. After these meetings, we all celebrated the initiator of the Summer Academy, Ms. Marilies Flemming, for her relentless efforts to inspire and empower seniors throughout the European Union. This was also acknowledged by Ms. Ingrid Korosec, prof. dr. Otto Wulff, dr. Bernard Worms and our President An Hermans who all took the floor to honour Ms. Flemming for all her work. Even EPP President Mr. Joseph Daul addressed his gratitude towards her and underlined the importance of this initiative in a video-message, which can be found below. A wonderful tour at the Schönbrunn castle and a well-deserved diner closed down an interesting first day of the Summer Academy.

The second day was dedicated to academic and political insights on the European elections and what is beyond. “Let’s open a new chapter for Europe” was not only the title of this year’s edition, but also the title of the EPP Manifesto. The Strategic Coordinator and Research Officer of the Martens Centre, Mr. Frederico Reho elaborated further on the insights of prof. dr. Steven Van Hecke. Both speakers noticed that the European Union still has plenty of challenges ahead, but should seize the opportunity to overcome those problems.

One of the opportunities that was subsequently addressed by Ms. Buda is the future trade relations of the European Union with third countries, and notably China. Her interesting view on the EU as global economic actor blended in with the presentation of our Vice-President Heinz K. Becker on the latest developments of a social Europe.

But one of the main characteristics and strengths of the Summer Academy is the active participation of our own members. The discussion on the Country Reports became a tradition and had again an important role during this session. With the recent European elections in mind, these reports have a vital function in analyzing the situation in our member’s countries.

Numerous members filed their input or took the floor during Saturday’s closing session. It again showed how engaged seniors were during the campaign. They organized conferences to voice their concerns, they encouraged people to go to vote, they exposed once more that their active citizenship plays an important role in civil society and politics.

After the Holy Mass and a group picture on Sunday, our Vice-President Heinz K. Becker shared his views on the challenges and opportunities of migration. As a former member of the LIBE committee, he brought this complex issue with a tremendous expertise and clarity.

Two days of inspiring and enriching discussions were closed down by our President An Hermans, concluding that the tradition that Marilies has started will continue for at least another 10 years. The last words of the Summer Academy by Vice-President Carmen Quintanilla perfectly captured the feelings of all participants: “This 10th Summer Academy was again a very interesting one, but I missed one person: Marilies Flemming. In all the previous years she was our inspiration and our guide. But also in the future she will be with us and she will inspire us.”

Events in 2019

EPP Congress Zagreb

Zagreb - Croatia

The EPP held its XXVI Congress on 20 and 21 November in Zagreb, Croatia.

“Thirty years of freedom” - Through the eyes of seniors

Bratislva - Slovakia

From 6-8 November, the Christian Senior Citizens' Association of Slovakia, together with the ESU, organised a regional conference in Bratislava.

‘Es gibt nog etwas zu tun’

Berlin - Germany

On 18 and 19 October the presidium gathered in Berlin at the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU): Konrad Adenauerhaus.

“The Journey to Age Equality”: International Day of Older Persons 2019


In its Resolution 45/106 of 14 December 1990, the General Assembly of the UN declared the first of October to be 'International Day of Older Persons.

10th ESU Congress

Sandanski - Bulgaria

‘Seniors standing up for Europe’ this theme brought together over 160 men and women from 20 countries in Sandanski on 27 and 28 September.

Greetings to Cyprus


A message from our President An Hermans to the congress in Cyprus after the European elections.

Get involved in the future of Europe

Nicosia - Cyprus

A glance at the gathering of Cypriotic seniors on the 13th of May.

European Day of Solidarity between Generations

Brussels - Belgium

A Letter of the ESU on the occasion of the European Day of Solidarity between Generations

The first Forum of Seniors’ Organizations from the Eastern Partnership

Minsk - Belarus

On the 24th and 25 of April, an ESU delegation was honoured to be part of the first Forum of Seniors’ Organizations organized in Minsk.

Conferencia Europea: ‘Con las Personas Mayores Avanza Europa’

Ciudad Real - Spain

Report on the Conferencia Europea: ‘Con las Personas Mayores Avanza Europa’

Launch EPP Campaign

Brussels - Belgium

Manfred Weber launched its ‘Power of WE’ in the House of European History in the presence of an ESU delegation,

Regional Conference Bozen

Bozen - Italy

On 21-23 March, the ESU co-hosted a Regional Conference together with the SVP-Senioren on several challenges our European Union is facing.

Executive Committee - Ambitions for Europe: the 2019 Elections and Beyond

Prague - Czech Republic

During the weekend of 22-24 February, the ESU Executive Committee was welcomed in Prague to gather with the European elections in mind.