11th European Green Party Council Meeting
Malmö, Sweden, 16 – 18 October 2009
Report from our Fringe Meeting, Sunday,18th October2009
16th October , 13.00 – 15.15 h
in Malmö, Universtity, Nordenskiöldsgatan 10, Room C 233
“Senior Citizens` Rights”
19 Participants from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, U.K.
Tony Cooreman, Belgium, Chairman of the Board: Introduction of Fringe Meeting
Dr. Lucille Ryan O`Shea, Ireland, Member of the Board: Lecture “Roots of Ageism”
Anita Kelles, Member of the Board, Finland: Lecture
“International Elderly Rights and Obligations”
Tom van der Wal, Netherlands, Member of the Board: Lecture “Age Border Law”
Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, Austria, Member of the Board:
Power point presentation: Proposal of “Declaration of Elderly Rights”
Ute Schmitz, Germany, Secretary General:
Papers distributed:from the Gremans point of view
“Discrimination of Elderly” from Bründnis 90/Die Grünen/.NRW/ Landtag
and in fringe meeting/ content: Rights in the German constitution – Not all people have the same rights in reality – – The principles of the United Nations from 1992, in which “A Society for all Generations” is requiered – The AGG (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz in Germany), which is implemented in August 2006 and also people with the characteristic of age are protected against discrimination granted in the workplace as well as to goods and services .– The “European Charter for the Safequarding of Human Rights”, items which are formulated eligible for elderly.
National inputs of constitutions by the ENGS members:
Hans Beat Schaffner, Switzerland,
Eva Hellung Strohl, Sweden,
Anita Kelles, Finland,
Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, Österreich
Ute Schmitz, Germany
In our fringe meeting on “Senior Citizens` Rights”
we first regretted that in spite of UN, EU and National commitments on elderly rights, millions of European senior citizens in practice do not have full human rights.They are targets of social exclusion, marginalisation and ageist stereotype.
We noted that elderly people are also targets for arbitrary boundaries to services that violate their human rights.
We noted that global UN principles and conventions – such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention Economic, Social and Culture Rights endorse human rights
of seniors. Moreover, convention on elimination of all forms of dicrimination of women (cedaw) requires countries in future to report on status of elderly women.
EU too regonizes the rights of the elderly in paragraph 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and in article 23 of the European Social Charter (revised) to remain full members of society for as long as possible.
We, the Green Seniors also wish to be full participants in green politics.
We call all of you for a common campain to influence our goverments to ratify the proposed EU Council Directive on implementing the principles of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.
Human rights are moral principles, not to be traded on markets. Any erroneous talk that they cost money, should be turned into a green opportunity to demand for green taxes on environment and financial transactions. Funds hidden and taxes avoided in tax havens should also be brought back to benefit greener and more equal society for all ages !
We decided to prepare an action program with more information on senior rights together with a White Book. A White Book will demonstrate the best European practices and policies on elderly rights.
Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel added, that Austria is on the way to implemented in the constitution Children Rights.
In Austria they use the name for the process to demand elderly rights “Age Politics”, because it is important to pronounce the word AGE very clearly. The first step to present the “Seniors Citizens` Rights” in Vienna Green City Councillor Club was a good start, because they got a lot of agreement and important additions and they will continue to work on it, with the hope to implement the Senior Citizens` Rights in the Austrian constitution as soon as possible.
(Protokol Ute Schmitz)