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. The group, named ‘Probus,’ is led by emeritus Professor Marc Depaepe, who used to be An Hermans’ colleague at the university. Probus is affiliated with the global Probus organization and provides a platform for active retired professionals to attend regular meetings, exchange ideas, engage in lifelong learning, and enjoy camaraderie.

During the event, An Hermans had the opportunity to present her publication titled The digital era? Also my era! – Media and information literacy: a key to ensure seniors’ rights to participate in the digital era  rights to participate in the digital era’ which had been shared with all participants in English, along with a synopsis in Dutch. The subject sparked great interest among the group, as they all recalled their encounters with the digital information transformation during and after their professional lives.They were acutely aware of the digital challenges and the importance of continuous learning to keep up with the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

One song, in particular, resonated with the participants, the 1981 Willem Vermandere song ‘Lat Mie Maar lopen’:  ‘k Moest heel mijn jong leven studeren En ‘k wierd computerspecialist ‘k Kost het zodanig programmeren Totda ‘k van toeten noch blazen ni meer wist” which brought back nostalgic memories in the group of participants between 65 and 94.

An Hermans shared how she came about writing the publication and mentioned the encouragement she received from Patrick Penninckx, the head of the department of information at the Council of Europe. He emphasized the significance of involving older individuals in policy processes concerning ‘digital equity for all,’ a statement that found unanimous agreement among the participants.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the essential nature of participating in the digital era, as it became evident that being part of the digital environment was no longer just a choice, but a necessity for everyone. An Hermans’ meeting with the Probus group proved to be empowering and motivating, inspiring all participants to embrace the digital world with confidence and enthusiasm.


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.

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

"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.