13th European Green Party Council Meeting
Estonia/ Tallinn / 8-10 October 2010 / Meriton Conference Hotel / Room Koidula
End: 19.40 h
20 Participants, see list attached
Minutes taker: Ute Schmitz
Leader of the Workshop:
Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, Austria / Ute Schmitz, Germany
Another Ageing for Europe
Another Ageing is Possible
The theme of our fringe meeting is the logical development of the workshop in Barcelona to discuss the theme, to collect more interesting ideas with new participants and good practice models of all over Europe.
In a power point presentation with the extended content of our White Book we presented the main points of the paper e.g. the 7 HAI (Happy Ageing Indicators):
- Healthy Life Expectancy
From our analysis we can see that what matters is not the length of expected life, what matters for us is how healthy these years are.
i) Psychological Support
The psychological aspects of ageing are cornerstones-surpassing all government and social welfare programs and pension systems. Psychological well being is the essential ingredient.
- Poverty of Elderly Men and Women
In Europe, the level of pension benefits is often shockingly low, above all for women. In order to avoid imminent risk of poverty, we require a basic income for all, including for the elderly.
The suicide of elderly people is not well-known. The suicide rate by people over 65 is highly, the suicide risk for men is 3.3 times higher than that for women.
- The Politics of Ageing
We can not be represented by younger generations, who do not know about our stage of life. We need to be active in politics and have our own leaders, who represent us in political decision-making, in
ii) Legislated Senior Councils
iii) Political Representation of the Elderly in the Parliament
- Elderly Migrants
2030 live several million older migrants in Europe. They belong to the group with high risk of poverty in old age.
This term includes the living together in solidarity and justice of all generations.
I addition we presented the main points of the social compass, which is based on two criteria:
The status of well being of elderly people, as determined from:
- available statistics that are comparable between countries
- statistics collected on a regular basis
We mentioned the collection of best practice models from the countries:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, UK.
The end was marked by the conclusion with the campaign.
A lively discussion followed for instance our point of view that we cannot be represented only by people, who do not know about our stage of life. It was discussed controversy.
In order to make politics for elderly, the younger once have to hear their opinion as a group in a green basic democracy. But to choose a representative for the elderly is consequent.
It was said that FYEG (Federation Young European Greens) demanded more candidates for the elections for themselves and for ENGS too, approximately 10 – 20 % of all greens in the European Parliament.
Another point was to work for a better gender balance between women and men, because in total there are more women than men living in most European countries.
Another point which was discussed, was the proposal instead of cutting essential public service and pensions to compensate it with new taxes like environmental taxes, taxes on opulence and conspicuous consumption as well as financial transactions taxes, e.g. Tobin tax. It has to be cleared up, if it is the right way and effective.
Too, it was mentioned the feeling that elderly are excluded from society.
It followed a power point presentation of Didier Ceurnelle, who searched in the field of life extension.
Life lasted 3000 years ago 25- 40 years. Now we have human beings who live till 120 years.
Life extension, what can we do? Why do we age? With medicine it is possible to decrease the life expectancy. Which role does medical science play? In the end what should we do with life extension? Is it only possible for rich people?
If people are interested they can inform themselves: www.gapminder.org and see the power point presentation again on www.greensenior.eu
Last point of the workshop was that participants fill in a questionnaire about
- social programs and projects for elderly people in their country
- what indicators like the participant to add
- what good policy for elderly in their country they like to include
And at least, participants wrote down their wishes for the next 10 years.