ESU Conference in Bratislava: A Resounding Success

Nearly 50 participants gathered in Bratislava on February 8-9 for a series of well-prepared meetings organized by ZKS (Zdruzenie kresťanských seniorov Slovenska) and our ESU. The congress was marked by informative discussions and a focus on the active participation of seniors in society. We extend special thanks to Peter Mach for ensuring the seamless organization of this successful event. 

The conference featured high-level speakers who delivered inspiring messages and encouragement for seniors’ involvement in society. The agenda covered three main subjects, including the 20th anniversary of Slovakia’s entry into the European Union and the upcoming European elections.

Notable speakers included our ESU President An Hermans, ESU Vice President Heinz Becker, KDH President Milan Majerský, European Parliament members Miriam Lexmann and Ivan Štefanec, the first Slovak EU Commissioner Ján Figeľ, Member of Parliament Branislav Škripek, and others. The participants, representing leading Christian-oriented senior organizations in Europe, praised the quality of the presentations and acknowledged the significant expansion of their knowledge about Slovakia.

Particularly appreciated was the insightful information on the 20th anniversary of Slovakia’s EU membership:

– Milan Majerský: The KDH President provided an assessment of the current political situation, emphasizing the KDH’s return to parliament and its role in upholding the rule of law as an opposition party.

-Ivan Štefanec (MEP) discussed European challenges and citizen involvement, highlighting the EU’s need to support Ukraine in defending its freedom. He emphasized the importance of seniors’ involvement in addressing various challenges, such as security, energy independence, environmental and digital transformation.

– Miriam Lexmann (MEP) focused on how the European Union serves its citizens, especially seniors. She emphasized the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality in guiding EU policies to ensure a dignified life for citizens of all ages.

A highlight of the conference was the captivating intervention of Ján Figeľ,Through his personal life history, the audience gained insights into “Slovakia’s road to the EU. Mr Figel was EU Commissioner and Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia, providing insights into Slovakia’s journey to EU membership and its contribution to the Union’s development.He underscored that Slovakia’s EU membership was seen as a confirmation of its equal position among other free and independent countries. While anticipating financial support and economic growth, Slovakia contributed culturally, socially, and in values to strengthen and unify the European community.

Strategic dialogues and looking ahead during the Conference

– The audience showed great interest in the formation of the Memorandum of the EPP for the June 2024 elections, with Heinz Becker’s clear explanation making the complex content accessible.

– The Presidency and Executive Committee focused on the future of ESU, including discussions about the upcoming ESU presidential elections in April 2024.

The ESU Conference in Bratislava has not only expanded our understanding of Slovakia but has also strengthened our resolve to actively contribute to the ongoing dialogue about the future of seniors in Europe. Here you can view the complete program of the conference as well as biographies of the speakers and their respective topics.