ESU’s Visit to EPP Headquarters in Brussels

The visit of ESU members to the EPP Headquarters in Brussels was a warm and welcoming experience, as we were embraced by our ‘EPP family’. After enjoying lunch, we gathered to listen to Secretary General Thanasis Bakolas deliver a personal welcome message. Following that, Brigitte Grouwels enlightened us about Brussels, the capital of Europe. The visit provided a valuable opportunity to strengthen our bonds and deepen our understanding of the EPP’s work in this significant hub of European politics.    

During his intervention, Thanasis Bakolas highlighted the value of ESU as part of the EPP family and emphasized the importance of farmers’ rights. Regarding the Green Deal and its impact on farmers, he stressed the need to consider their challenges and the pressure they face. Bakolas emphasized the necessity for the EPP to uphold its principles and values in the 2024 strategy. He called for a solid vision that goes beyond national-level politics and focuses on what we have in common. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of EU-focused campaigns and the selection of committed individuals for parliamentary roles. Bakolas reaffirmed the EPP’s stance as pro-Europe, pro-NATO, pro-rule of law, and pro-Ukraine. He advocated for increased cooperation and engagement within the party. 

Brigitte Grouwels, vice-president of CD&V seniors and former minister in the Brussels government, delivered a speech on Brussels as an international city, highlighting various aspects. In the Belgian context, she mentioned the presence of schools and cultural institutions in both Dutch and French languages. She also highlighted the significant number of commuters from both Flanders and Wallonia. Grouwels emphasized Brussels’ role as a student city with approximately 100,000 students. 

Regarding its international role, she noted that Brussels is not only host to EU and NATO meetings but also numerous smaller councils. She highlighted the diverse and international population of Brussels, with 75% of its residents having a foreign origin. Grouwels discussed the social and cultural impact of the international presence, such as international schools and religious services for specific communities like Polish masses. While Brussels is officially a bilingual region, she noted that English has increasingly become a contact language in recent years.

During the Q&A session, Grouwels addressed questions about the presence of the king and queen in Brussels, security concerns (which she emphasized should not be exaggerated), and the religious situation, highlighting both the Christian/Catholic community and the significant Muslim community in the city.



Events in 2023

ESU Annual Report 2023


Our ESU 2023 Annual Report is available

Brainstorm on “Enhancing the Digital Skills of Seniors in the Slovak Republic”


The primary aim of this project is to optimize digital literacy among seniors in Slovakia by developing lessons focused on digitalization for seniors.

New perspectives about ageing better

NIcosia - Cyprus

Regional Conference in Nicosia on new perspectives about ageing better

UN International Day of Older Persons


President An Hermans has provided a message in on the occasion of the 33rd UNIDOP on October 1st.

The ESU joins UNIDOP celebrations in Cyprus

Foini - Cyprus

On October 1, ESU President An Hermans and Secretary-General Guido Dumon joined in the UN International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) festivities in Cyprus.

Empowering Active Retirees in the Digital Era: An Inspiring Encounter


On July 20, 2023, ESU-president An Hermans was invited to speak before a group of retired professionals in Kortrijk, Flanders on the topic: MIL.

News from the ESU associations: Thoughts and experiences to share


The final morning of the academy was dedicated to the ESU-association's internal aspects and future prospects.

Martens Centre Survey on 'Regaining the Middle Ground for the Centre Right' and discussions


The focus of the survey was on understanding the mindset of the European middle class, particularly their economic, psychological, and security concerns.

Advancing a Human Rights-Based Approach to the Digital Environment


Patrick Penninckx led a presentation on fostering a sustainable, people-centered, and human rights-based approach to the challenges posed by digital environment

Europe as a task & Challenges for the EU


3rd Day of the ESU Summer Academy with guest speaker Herman Van Rompuy, Emeritus President of the EU Council

'Europe as a Task'


Insights into EU Governance: Exploring the European Commission and the European Semester at the Summer Academy

"Why Europe? - Presidency Meeting with Prof. Steven Van Hecke"


ESU presidium meeting during first day of the Summer Academy

​​European People's Party Political Assembly in Munich


The EPP Political Assembly brings together representatives from all EPP member parties and associations

The European Day of Solidarity between Generations


The European Day of Solidarity between Generations aim is to raise awareness of the importance of intergenerational solidarity and to promote dialogue.

Symposium CD&V-senioren – CDA senioren – European Seniors’ Union


A fascinating day on ‘Creating dignity in the final phase of life"

National meeting 'Generation 60+' in Bozen/ Bolzano

Bozen/ Bolzano

'Generation 60+' held an election meeting in which Otto von Dellemann and Christine von Stefenelli were confirmed in their positions.

The EU’s Care Strategy – Perspectives and Reflections of the ESU


A European Care Strategy was at the center of the discussions at the ESU Executive Committee Meeting (EXCO), which took place on March 25, in Leuven.

ExCo meeting in Leuven- Side Event


The ESU Facilitated meeting between the Chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Belgian and Romanian Parliaments

Presidium and Executive Committee meeting in Leuven


On 24-26 March, we organised a meeting in Leuven with Presidium members and Executive Committee members.

Biennial national meeting of Hoyre-Seniors


ESU president An Hermans and general secretary Guido Dumon were invited to Bergen, Norway, for the biennial national meeting of Hoyre-Seniors.

A new EU healthcare strategy - Video conference with Sirpa Pietikäinen


Besides some information on ongoing ESU initiatives, the meeting focused on the new European care strategy.