Symposium CD&V-senioren – CDA senioren – European Seniors’ Union

Creating Dignity in the Final Phase of Life

On 20th April over 100 seniors attended the Sint-Janskerk in Maastricht, a fascinating day on ‘Creating dignity in the final phase of life”.  Ethical reflection and debate, experiences of formal and informal caregivers, were part of the search for responsible and humane behavior and policy on end-of-life care. 

Five interesting speakers shared their perspectives on the topic: Professor Wim Pinxten (Medical ethics professor at the University of Hasselt, specializing in research and care ethics, and serving on various bioethics committees) highlighted that death is a natural part of life, and people in other places and times dealt with it differently. Hans Kling (Protestant chaplain at Maastricht University Medical Centre, specializing in medical ethics) emphasized the importance of a valid living will and Professor Dr. Cor Spreeuwenberg (Former doctor, professor of chronic care integration, IMDI chair) stressed the importance of considering the caregivers’ sensitivities in the end-of-life care process. Jos Aben (Director of various care organizations) emphasized that preserving residents’ experiences is essential to maintain dignity in residential care centers.

In her speech, our president An Hermans expressed her satisfaction with the choice of the topic ‘palliative care’, and highlighted the increasing need for it . She thanked Dr. Cor Spreeuwenberg and the whole team around him for preparing the symposium. The differences across Member States and the lack of policy making around it at European level can’t be excuses for not dealing with it. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the existential questions surrounding end-of-life care and emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach that addresses physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs. International organizations have recognized palliative care as a fundamental aspect of human dignity and a human right to health. The recent initiatives on care by the EU could potentially create some  perspectives to integrate palliative care into the analysis and development of long term care in the healthcare and care systems in the member states. The European Seniors’ Union is committed to continuing its advocacy for the necessity of reflection on palliative care with the EU Commission. You can find her speech here.

At the end of the day, Brigitte Grauwels, former minister, highlighted the necessity for reflection and underlined that the event provided valuable insights into the ethical considerations, scientific advances, and personal experiences surrounding end-of-life care. The symposium emphasized the need for communication, planning, sensitivity to caregivers’ feelings, and preserving dignity and quality of life for the terminally ill. The speakers’ diverse perspectives and expertise provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of end-of-life care and its implications for society as a whole.


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

"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.

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.