Summer Academy 2016: Europe must not fail

‘Europe must not fail’ that was the title of the 7th Summer Academy for leading seniors (1-3 July 2016), organized by ESU, the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and the Österreichischer Seniorenbund in the Politische Akademie der ÖVP (Polak) in Vienna, some days after the UK’s Referendum.

Fifty delegates from 22 countries expressed their great concern about what is happening in Europe. The ESU strongly regretted the British voters’ choice to leave the EU and urged political leaders at all levels to stay wholeheartedly committed to the European project, to defend the fundamentals of the EU Treaties and to oppose nationalistic tendencies. Analysing the results of the British Referendum the ESU is very concerned about the striking generation gap shown by the referendum and urged more intergenerational dialogue and strong European leadership for the upcoming crucial phase of the European integration process.

ESU President An Hermans argued: “The older generations of Europe have personally experienced the cruelty of wars and dictatorship and have themselves actively contributed to the reconstruction of their communities and to the build-up of modern welfare states. For them, Europe gave ‘a hope for better times’. Falling back on nationalism in difficult times cannot be an option for the future. We plead for ‘intergenerational dialogues for democracy’ where young and older citizens can bring in their experiences and hopes.”

The ESU will continue supporting the European project and its overreaching goal of preserving peace and security, developing a strong Europe in a globalizing world and promoting a better future for all its generations.

Events in 2016

9th ESU Congress

Leuven - Belgium

On 4-5 November 2016, the triennial ESU Congress took place in Leuven. Theme: Together for a safe and social Europe.

Regional Conference: Civil society and active participation

Ljubljana - Slovenia

On 21-22 October 2016, the ESU and its Slovenian member organisations organised a regional Conference on Civil society and active participation.

International Day of Older Persons


On the occasion of the International day of Older Persons on 1 October 2016, the ESU released a message of ESU President Hermans.

Regional Conference: Active ageing and the participation of seniors in public life

Budapest - Hungary

For a two-days Conference in Budapest, the ESU could count on the Robert Schuman Institute, Fidesz and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Launch of the Foundation 'Youth and Seniors for Europe'

Brauweiler-Pulheim - Germany

To mark the European Day of Solidarity Between Generations dr. Bernhard Worms organised the launch of the Foundation 'Youth and Seniors for Europe'.