European Green Council Antwerpen starts with Campaign



Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Minutes from ENGS Fringe Meeting Karlstad 2017





Karlstad 26 November 2017

Reino Lampinen


ENGS Fringe Meeting 25 November 2017 from 14.30 to 16.15

No Discrimination in the Job Market

Altogether 16 people attended the meeting, 10 visitors and 5 ENGS Board members (Vivianne Gunnarsson, Frank Hauser, Birgit Meinhardt, Kris Fierens and Reino Lampinen) and as guest: Stefan Nilsson, member of the national Parliament of Sweden and a member of the Parliaments social and health committee.

Seminar was opened by ENGS vice-chair Vivianne Gunnarsson. As an introduction she showed slides covering the main issuesincluding

− statistics on employment and unemployment by age and different countries
− European employment strategy, targets and initiatives.

Discrimination of elderly in the job market has not been really highlighted by the EU or EGP. Vivianne stated that in EU pillar of social rights only one of four main titles includes age. Also the EGP resolution adopted in Liverpool only touches the discrimination of elderly.

Stefan Nilsson, Sweden, MNP member of national parliament continued on a Swedish study on reasons for discrimination in the job market. Disability was found to be the main reason for discrimination while the high age is the second important. There are also differences in the interaction between age groups. He recommended that at least in Sweden word “årsrika” (“rich in years”) should be used instead of “elderly”. The age limit 55 as a reason for the unemployment of the elderly is gradually moving towards 45 years – ever younger have great difficulties to get a new job if unemployed.

The continuously rising share of pensioners of population and rising numbers of unemployed people both lead to problems in financing pensions. There are differences between countries. From audience: there are great differences even between regions inside a country – between rural areas and cities.

Nilsson also remarked that the Swedes get every day 3,5 h more living age – that means 1 h/week or 52 h/year, i.e. more than two days more living age every year!

In Sweden there is already flexibility in the pension system. The more you work and the more you earn the bigger pension you get. It is possible to get a pension at 61 or you can wait until 65, the general pension age, but you also have the right to work until 67. A new pension agreement will probably enter into force from 2018. The pension age will then be 66 years and in 2020 it will be raised to 67 years with the right to stay until 68 respective 69 with the same employer. Public employees, both governmental and community employees, must have reached 30 years of service for a full pension.

There is at the same time lack of jobs and lack of workforce. From the audience: maybe more demand of experienced folk.

Frank Hauser: when the age increases, then the years of unemployment lengthen for those who are unemployed. This is dramatic for those who know that at 50 years they’ll have next 15 to 25 years of poverty. One reason for unemployment for the elderly is the wage level: the elderly request 25-30 €/h when the young may be ready to work for 10 €/h.

From the audience (UK): solution would be minimum basic income. Old women are a huge resource for the society even if they are not paid. From Sweden: the pension for public sector workers is very close to the poverty line in the EU. (which is about 1400 Euro). Also in these cases the solution would be minimum pension. Discussion of basic income is more ore less dead in Sweden although many green party members still want to put it in place.

Information of trials on basic income:

− In Finland a trial is going on. For 2 years, 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2018, a 560 € a monthly basic income will be paid for 2000 unemployed people without conditions or substitute. The trial will be lead by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. It selected the group as a random sample from unemployed people. A follow-up study will be done 2019. This 2000 person group will be compared to a group of other unemployed persons, in total 173 000. This study will look at e.g. the difference in employment between these two groups during and after the trial.
− In Netherlands different cities test different models.
− Also GEF (Green European Foundation) is studying different models for minimum basic income.

From the audience: The pension age should be adjusted accordingto the heaviness of the work – heavy work, lower pension age. Today the work might be more stressing even when the work is not physically so heavy. So the heaviness here covers also stressing mental jobs. This stress might cover also nurses, teachers etc. There is also need for pension at very low age due to illnesses. As a conclusion: chronological age is not a good basis for pension.

There are big differences in the minimum pension age: even from 50 to 55 in some Mediterranean countries. Even bigger differences between continents if you think of e.g. Africa!

Older workers and their experience are also a threat on the employer: they might know better than their younger bosses. But a positive remark: wisdom and experience of the elderly might be asked for in the future!

Finally we had a lengthy discussion on voluntary work: is it always really voluntary? Grandmothers helping 3 or 10 grandchildren? Pensioners helping their parents?

Frank: Voluntary work makes poor! It means that a paid work will be replaced by “voluntary” unpaid or very poorly paid work. If an unemployed person works voluntarily, her/his pension won’t improve.

Some more reflections by the participants:

− Should we take voluntary work, its definition and its impact on the job market, paid compensation or “salary” and pensions as a title for forthcoming fringe meetings.
− Ethnologists are wondering: during the stone-age people didn’t work more than 6 hours/day. What have we done wrong when we now have to work more?
− Would security be a theme for future sessions? It should be certain that one would live decently on the wage and the pension.


Posted in Europe, News from Europe, Reports | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Why is it important?

We all need the right of water. Around 1,8 Million people in Europe had fight as NGO for it. Now the EU Commison had founded some guidelines for right of water. Because water is one of the vital ressources for live quality. We as elderly generation have also to fight for this right, because we and next generations could not live without  clean and free water. This right is also on the agenda of „Social pillars“.





Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Generations, Intergenerational Relations Compendium in 17 languages

The members of the International Network for the Analysis of Intergenerational Relations (Generationes) proudly present the most recent issue of the jointly produced compendium “Generations, Intergenerational Relations and Generational Policy”.

This new version includes 17 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Hungarian, Turkish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Slovenian (new), Bosnian (new), Ukrainian (new), Russian (new) and Chinese (new).

The layout of the compendium is designed for using it to translate the specific concepts and terminology of research on generations and intergenerational relations from one language into another.

The online version can be downloaded from our website:

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Austrian Grandmas fighting against „Neo Nazis“


Austrians have taken refugees into their homes. But the new far-right government would like to move refugees out of the community and into concentrated centres, which protestors argue recalls a darker time in Austria’s history….Austrian Grandmas fighting against Neo Nazis


Posted in Europe, News from Europe | Leave a comment

UN – 1.10.2017 Day of older person


UN Calls for harnessing one of the world’s greatest untapped resources – older persons

This year, older persons around the world are celebrating the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, by looking to the future and underscoring their vital role in it. Today, there are 962 million older persons worldwide, who are projected to outnumber youth by 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is undeniable that global ageing has become a mega-trend that is clearly going to have a significant impact on the road to the achievement of the SDGs, which necessitates the inclusion of older persons and harnessing their untapped potential in the process.

This year’s theme “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society” is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life, in accordance with older persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.

The official commemorative event will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 5 October 2017 and is organized by the NGO Committee on Ageing in partnership with UN DESA Focal Point on Ageing, and sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Argentina.

The event will include a panel discussion to showcase cutting-edge research, age-related technological innovations, and models of civic involvement and entrepreneurship of older persons. It will also feature the official launch of Highlights of the 2017 World Population Ageing report.

The commemoration will be broadcasted live via UN Web TV. To follow the conversation via social media, the online audience is encouraged to use the hashtags #UNIDOP and #60Plus.

For more information: International Day of Older Persons 2017

Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

NGO Forum and Ministerial Conference on Ageing Lissabon 2017

Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, from Carers’ Organisation Austria participated in the UNECE NGO Forum on Ageing, held on 20 September 2017, in Lisbon, Portugal. The Forum preceded the UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing (21-22 September 2017).

About the UNECE NGO Forum on Ageing

The objective of the NGO Forum is to foster a dialogue in and among civil society organisations representing older persons and dealing with ageing issues around the 3 themes of the UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing 2017 from different angles of concern of civil society actors, to identify strong and weak aspects in the MIPAA implementation and Ministerial Declaration, and to formulate demands and recommendations on behalf of civil society organisations.

About the UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing

The conference completes the third review and appraisal cycle (2012-2017) of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and its Regional Implementation Strategy (MIPAA/RIS). The focus is on ‘Realizing the potential of living longer’. Conference panels addressed this theme through the lens of:

  1. Recognizing the potential of older persons
  2.  Encouraging longer working life and ability to work
  3. Ensuring ageing with dignity

The Ministerial Conference on Ageing is organized by UNECE in cooperation with the Government of Portugal, under the coordination of the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity, and Social Security.


Background (FRE

In 1982, the First World Assembly on Ageing took place in Vienna (Austria). Twenty years later, in April 2002, the Second World Assembly adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), a global normative frame for responding to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing. The same year in September, the UNECE member States took a step further and at the Berlin Conference endorsed the Regional Implementation Strategy (RIS) for the MIPAA that included a set of measures and actions grouped under ten commitments.

At the onset of the MIPAA, it was agreed to carry out a review and appraisal of its implementation every five years at both regional and global levels. In 2007, the UNECE Ministerial Conference in León (Spain) concluded the review and appraisal of the first five-year cycle of the MIPAA/RIS and in its Ministerial Declaration re-endorsed the ten commitments of the RIS.

In 2012, the UNECE Ministerial Conference in Vienna completed the second review and appraisal exercise at the regional level. The Vienna Ministerial Declaration with its four goals endorsed the concept of active ageing. The third review and appraisal exercise commenced in 2016 with countries preparing their national reports and was completed with the UNECE Ministerial Conference in September 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Access the UNECE Policy Brief on Ageing here .


Posted in Europe, News from Europe, Reports | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Longest book table in the world

Now again The longest book table in the world, Drottninggatan Stockholm 20 aug. Green Seniors were there selling books and politiks for elderly. Really full speed!
on the picture, Anders Ödmark, Vivianne Gunnarsson, Gösta Even, Eivor Karlsson Marja Sandin -Wester. The photographer was Åke Askensten.



Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

Talk about Care Programs in Austria

Interview about Care with EU-Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek and Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, President of Care-Organisation with Markus Golla for www.pflege-professionell.atIMG_1706



Posted in Allgemein | Leave a comment

News from Finland

Three Days’ Political Turmoil in Finland

I am writing this in a train heading for Tampere, where the Greens in Finland will have there the annual Party Congress. But that will not, probably, be anything like a turmoil, even if we will elect a new chair after the 6 years’ era of Ville Niinistö.

The real turmoil happened during and after the corresponding Party Congress of the racist and anti-Europe party of True Finns, one of the three parties in the Government.

The latter congress elected as the chair Mr. Jussi Halla-aho, a MEP and an extremist even by the yardstick of the Party. He had announced already before the vote that he would lead the Party from Brussels and would not assume a minister post if he would be chosen for the chair. What was even worse, all elected three vice-chairs represented the same fraction and views.

The other two Government parties, Center Party (former Farmer Party) and right wing Conservatives requested for a meeting with a new chair, in order to discuss “the values” of the True Finns after an election like this, and in particular Mr. Halla-Aho’spossibilities of daily co-operation from Brussels with the other two chairs.

The result of this discourse was that a government crisis was announced – Center Party and the Conservatives rejected the possibility to continue in the same Government with the radically changed True Finns. Two smaller Parties were preliminary asked to join the Government.

In order to re-organize the Government the former Government must first resign, by a decision of the President. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä was already on the way to President’s summer residence when he received shocking news: the Parliamentary Group of True Finns split in two. Those promoting the co-operation in the Government, naturally including all the five Ministers of True Finns and 15 other members of the Group had established a new Parliamentary Group, called for the moment a New Alternative (sic!). And they were willing to continue the work of the Government.

The Prime Minister’s car made a U-turn, and he did not meet the President at all. And so everything was in order in Finland! Now the press and the internet are full of conspiracy theories: all this was a plot to force the True Finns (or in this case the fraction) to be humble (and quiet) members, not causing anymore the trouble they have caused for the last two years.

But the real reason why I’m writing this is the result of the latest poll of our major daily paper Helsingin Sanomat. The question made to 1080 people between 18 to 74 years (sic! again – next year they will not be interested on my opinion anymore!) was: which Parties they were likely to vote if the election was held today. Several people mentioned more than one Party – therefore the sum of percentages is almost 200. The surprising result for us was that the Greens (brown pillars) is the most favored Party! The blue pillars show the results for the voters of True Finns, and therefore the pillar for Greens is low.

For explanation: keskusta = center, kokoomus = conservatives, perussuomalaiset = true finns, uusi vaihtoehto = new alternative, sdp = social democrats, vasemmistoliitto = socialists, rkp = Swedish party, kristillisdemokraatit = Christian democrats, last three: other or no opinion.

Kaikki suomalaiset = all Finns, PS-äänestäjät… = voters of True Finns in the municipal elections 2017


Posted in Europe, News from Europe | Leave a comment