International Day of Older Persons 2015

Every year on 1 October, attention is globally paid to older persons in society. Ageing in dignity and without discrimination are central here. 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP). This year the day focuses on the impact that older people have on the new urban environment as well as the effect it has in turn on them. This year’s celebration aims to show that an age inclusive agenda is crucial for sustainable environments to promote equity, welfare and shared prosperity for all. On the occasion of this day, An Hermans, President of the European Seniors’ Union (ESU), wrote a message.

She invites everyone to CELEBRATE the International Day of Older Persons. An increase of life expectancy creates new opportunities and participating in community life gives strength and joy. Those are reasons to thank and to celebrate. The ESU calls to treat everyone, including all older persons and all persons in need of care and help, with respect and dignity, to eliminate age discrimination and to create opportunities for participation. All political authorities have to play a role to this end. On the occasion of the IDOP, President An Hermans calls on the member organisations and all seniors for openness to an ever-changing future, openness to tackle new projects and to participate actively in all areas of community life. She beliefs that ACTIVE PARTICIPATION in society is for seniors as vital as breathing for our body.

“Politicians can and must create the framework and the rules to build a viable and humane society. But realizing daily community life in respect, solidarity and connectivity, that is a role of all citizens. Only in interaction between politicians and citizens of all generations and all levels of policy, new challenges can be addressed. This certainly applies to the challenges that dominate current events: the reception and integration of refugees. Obviously, a regulatory framework is needed, which is respected and where each Member State, regional or local authority recognizes and accepts its responsibility. But civil society plays an irreplaceable role in influencing opinions, support, reinforcement,… Older people can play an important role in this”, says An Hermans. She continues by stating that “most of them have gone a long way in and to Europe themselves. Hoping that Europe would bring them peace, respect for human rights, freedom and democracy. Their history should not be forgotten. On the contrary, the road should be openly continued. It will be apparent that Europe, with its multi-level governance form and the European values of solidarity and responsibility, is not just a matter of heads of state, senior officials and top politicians, but also of committed citizens.”

The president of the ESU urges everyone to “openly choose a Europe that is people-centred and that encounters each person, regardless of gender or age, ethnicity or religion, with dignity and a warm heart.” She concludes: “That is the Europe we want to live in. Let us make it happen.”

The full text can be found below.

Events in 2015

20 years ESU

Brussels - Belgium

On 6 November 2015 the European Seniors' Union (ESU) celebrated its 20th anniversary in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in Brussels.

EPP Statutory Congress

Madrid - Spain

On 21-22 October 2015, the ESU actively participated in the EPP Congress in Madrid.

Regional Conference: elderly abuse and exploitation

Larnaca - Cyprus

On 16 September 2015, several delegations arrived in Larnaca for the ESU regional conference on "Elderly abuse and exploitation".

Food4Thought - Europe's Senior Voters

Brussels - Belgium

On 1 October 2015, the ESU organised a Food for Thought event together with the Wilfried Martens Centre about 'Europe's Senior Voters'.

Regional Conference: Lifelong learning and active ageing

Münster - Germany

On 11-12 September 2015, the ESU and the Senioren-Union der CDU Deutschlands organised a Regional Conference around Lifelong Learning and Active Ageing.

ESU visiting Cyprus and its seniors' organisation

Nicosia - Cyprus

On 9-10 September 2015, the President and Secretary General of the ESU visited Cyprus and its seniors' association.

Summer Academy 2015: Citizens' Security in the EU

Vienna - Austria

On 3-5 July, the Summer Academy of the ESU took place in Vienna around 'Citizens' Security in the EU'.

Convention of Hoyre Seniors

Bergen - Norway

On 20-21 March 2015, the ESU President and Secretary-General participated in the Convention organized by the Hoyre Seniors in Bergen, Norway.