The European house must be built in solidarity

The European house must be built in solidarity

 On 14th of September the ESU participated in an event organized by Sdružení křesťanských seniorů (SKS) and supported by the Hans Seidel Foundation and the European Academy for Democracy at the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council, from 1 July until 31 December 2022. We thank our ESU Vice-President Lidmila Nemcova, all supporting partners involving in particular Vice-President of the Czech Parliament Jan Bartošek for the interesting opportunity to participate in this event. Together we underlined the importance of defending Europe’s fundamental values and facing the many challenges ahead.

‘Europe as a task: rethink, rebuild, repower’

The priorities of the Czech’s presidency are reflected in its motto: ‘Europe as a task: rethink, rebuild, repower.’ It focuses on five closely linked priority areas as a response to the current challenges in Europe, in solidarity with Ukraine and that country’s reconstruction as its top priorities. Prioritizing the resilience of democratic institutions, including focusing on the protection of media freedom and the rule of law, can be seen as an overall ambition to restore trust in EU politics and strengthen democracy in our societies.

The slogan “Europe as a Task” reminds us of the title of a speech made by Václav Havel (1936-2011) in 1996. Almost a quarter of a century ago, Havel was speaking about the history and future of Europe and referred to threats to civilisation, potential conflicts, limited resources, damage to the environment and growing social inequalities. He highlighted the political need for European unity and described the EU as a peerless attempt to make Europe into a unified, democratic space of solidarity.

The European house must be built in solidarity

Several speakers developed aspects of the general theme of the event “The European Union – house on the rock or house on the sand?”. Among others, An Hermans underlined the importance of solidarity. She said: “Today, all these years later, Havel’s words sound like the crystal-clear call for European unity, based on the basic values of the European project. This is, dear ladies and gentlemen, the European house, where neither the basic values, nor the building blocks, nor the decorations are self-evident. If we want to stand for Europe, we must renew our basic values and build the future together every day. Our founding fathers even knew that, as it was already in the Schuman Declaration (1950):

“Europe will not be made all at once,

or according to a single plan.

It will be built through concrete achievements which 

first create a de facto solidarity.”

The need for unity and solidarity

The Czech presidency, like the French and Swedish presidencies of the Council of the EU and in cooperation with the European Parliament and the EU Commission, will have to go through a complex and challenging period. We wish them every success in this and were honored to be present in Prague to be part of it all. 

For further information on the Presidency, please refer to the Presidency website.


Events in 2022

The Council of Europe: guardian of human rights


On 18 November 2022, a delegation of the European Seniors’ Union undertook a study visit to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Strasbourg: historic city and one of the centres of European policy-making


Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region, has an iconic story for anyone involved in European politics; sometimes in the background but sometimes very close

Message from our President on the occasion of Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2022


In view of the upcoming Global Media and Information Literacy Week, we invite you to highlight the importance of media and information literacy.

International conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of AFAMMER

Ciudad Real - Madrid - Spain

ESU President An Hermans and Secretary-General Guido Dumon participated in the commemoration of 40 years of AFAMMER

Letter of ESU President An Hermans on the United Nations International Day of Older Persons


On the 1 October 2022 we celebrate worldwide the United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP).

“Senior citizens in contemporary Europe, issues and challenges”


From 23 until 25 september we co-organized the International European Educational and Scientific Conference on health care, social care, and new technologies fo

Summer Academy 2022: “Generations master the future of a changing Europe together”

Politische Akademie, 1120 Vienna

After three years, nearly 60 people from all over Europe met at the Politische Akademie in Vienna for the ESU Summer Academy.

The digital Era? Also my era! Media and Information Literacy: a key to ensure seniors’ rights to participate in the digital era


An Hermans was invited by the Council of Europe to compile an informative brochure on the subject of digital literacy within the senior generation.

‘What does the Green Deal mean for our way of life?’ - ESU & CDA Side Event


This side-event concerning ‘What does the Green Deal mean for our way of life?’ during EPP Congress in Rotterdam

EPP Congress Rotterdam: 31 May - 1 June


ESU intervention at the Congress and Election of Manfred Weber as EPP President and EPP leadership

ESU Northern and Baltic Countries Regional Conference: Life with Covid-19


ESU Northern and Baltic Countries Regional Conference took place from 19-21 May; the central theme was: 'Life with Covid-19; new tasks & challenges for seniors.

Solidarity with Ukraine


In early April, Volodymyr Dzobak contacted ESU President An Hermans. The interest grew to get to know Mr. Dzobak and his organization better.

29 April: European Day of Solidarity between generations


ESU takes part every year in this awareness-raising campaign in order to draw attention to the concept of intergenerational solidarity and cooperation.

17.03.2022 ESU Video meeting on “War, tensions and threats at European borders"


On 17 March we had our video conference on ‘War, tensions and threats at the European borders - How can the EU react? / What can citizens expect?”