‘Europe as a Task’

On the second day of the Summer Academy, the theme of ‘Europe as a Task’ served as the guiding principle. Our visit to the European Commission provided us with valuable insights into the inner workings of the EU, particularly within the Commission itself. We were warmly welcomed by the Commission’s visitor center, setting the stage for an enlightening experience. Two distinguished speakers captivated our attention, shedding light on two crucial topics. The first speaker, Marco la Marca, delved into the intricacies of the Functioning of the European Commission, unveiling its essential role. The second speaker, Gerrit De Bethuyne,  enlightened us about ‘the European Semester’ and its significance in shaping European policies.


During his presentation on the functioning of the European Commission, Marco la Marca, a member of the cabinet of EU Commissioner Vice President Dubravka Šuica, emphasized several key points. He highlighted the significance of considering population dynamics when designing policies for the green and digital transition. Drawing a compelling analogy, he likened the EU to a condominium, underscoring the shared responsibilities among its institutions. Intergenerational brain drain, where retirees take valuable knowledge and experience with them, was identified as a crucial issue. La Marca stressed the need to optimize this transition and urged the labor market to adapt to the new demographic reality. Additionally, he emphasized the vital importance of mental health for children, stating, “Mentally healthy children are more likely to become mentally healthy adults.” You can access his presentation here


During the event, Gerrit De Bethuyne delivered an insightful intervention on “The role of ‘the European Semester.'” He began by explaining that the EU Semester is a six-month exercise where EU economic policies are discussed with Member States. He described it as “a yearly exercise to coordinate economic, fiscal, employment, and social policy within the European Union.”  De Bethuyne then provided a historical context, highlighting the background of the EU Semester, including its relevance in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. He emphasized the importance of understanding the decision-making model employed in the present and encouraged a forward-looking perspective.  Additionally, De Bethuyne touched upon several key aspects related to the EU Semester, such as the Commission spring package and budgetary surveillance, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and the Economic Governance Review. These elements play a vital role in shaping economic policies, fostering coordination, and ensuring financial stability within the European Union.  

Overall, De Bethuyne’s intervention shed light on the significance of the EU Semester and its multifaceted approach to economic governance. It provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the framework, its historical context, and its relevance in shaping the future of economic policies within the EU.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

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.