“Why Europe? – Presidency Meeting with Prof. Steven Van Hecke”

The Presidency meeting took place on the first day of the Summer Academy on 10 July 2023. During the meeting, discussions revolved around Teona Lavrelashvili’’s report on seniors’ representation in EPP Partner Parties, which provided an analytical assessment of selected parties in 10 countries. The meeting also focused on the follow-up of the ESU Resolution on the “EU Care Strategy”. Additionally, significant attention was given to the renewal of the ESU Presidency for 2024 and the planning of the ESU Congress in 2024.

We welcomed Prof. Steven Van Hecke as guest speaker. During his intervention, Professor Steven Van Hecke discussed the challenges currently faced by Europe, the European People’s Party (EPP), and upcoming elections. He highlighted various key points: He emphasized the importance of the upcoming elections in Spain, the Netherlands, and Poland, as well as the NATO summit held on 11-12 July.  Prof. Van Hecke stated that the EU is not solely focused on climate change but also takes into account other important aspects. He emphasized that the EPP holds significance in this regard. He emphasized that the Green Deal is not only about addressing climate change but also about reorganizing the EU, independently from the United States and China, which poses one of the significant challenges of the 21st century. 

Regarding the 2024 European Elections, Prof. Van Hecke suggested that if von der Leyen wishes to be Spitzenkandidat, she will likely have the opportunity. He also mentioned that while the EPP is expected to remain the largest party, it may have fewer MEPs.  In response to a question from the public, Leif Hallberg, Prof. Van Hecke addressed the important factor of demographic change in the EU, encompassing both immigrants and older people. He also acknowledged that the EU, which originated as a Christian project, has evolved into a secular project, raising the question of when Christian values were last mentioned by politicians. His remarks shed light on the shifting focus towards center-right topics, the significance of the Green Deal, and the need to address demographic changes within the EU. We were very elated with his intervention and during the evening dinner, ESU members were also given his new book ‘Why Europe, An Integration History From A(denauer) to Z(elenskyy)’, which explains all the info from his presentation and so much more. You can find his presentation here.


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

ESU's Visit to EPP Headquarters in Brussels


Strengthening Bonds and Understanding: ESU's Visit to EPP Headquarters in Brussels

​​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.