History of the ENGS

Gruppenbild ::: Greenseniors EU ENGS

History of the ENGS

13 January 2020

7.12.2005Brussels Founded in the EU Parliament in with representatives of eight parties from seven countries. They endorsed the “Declaration of Brussels”. 
26.6.2006       Düsseldorf, Germany 2nd General Meeting at Landtag (NRW Parliament) with representatives of 9 parties from 8 countries with the following workshops:-        Fight against poverty of elderly people (Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, Austria)

–        Age discrimination on the labour market (Kaarina Kytömaa, Finland)

–        Economy without growth (Dr. W. Knabe)

–        Towards a European Green Party (Ludo Diericks)

–        Lecture about Housing for Elderly (Harald Wölter)

13-14.10.2006 Geneva, Switzerland ENGS was represented at the EGP Congress with an own stand in front of the meeting auditorium. 
28-30.12.2006 Vienna, Austria Executive Committee of ENGS meets as guests of the IGS (Initiative Grüne Seniorinnen) and of the DGS (Die Grüne Seniorinnen) to organize the next general meeting. 
18-19.5.2007    Brussels, Belgium Executive Committee of ENGS meets with representatives from 9 parties. First reading and discussion on the ENGS-Manifesto. 
12-14.10.2007 Vienna, Austria General Meeting of ENGS at the EGP-Council Meeting, combined with a fringe meeting “Challenge or Opportunity for the Green Party at the European Elections” and a climate change demonstration (Action: Melting North and South Poles – Danger for Icebears) in the Vienna shopping area. A lecture about: “Violence against Elderly People”, attended for the first time by representatives from Malta, Romania, the Czech Republic and Ireland. 
19-21.12.2007 Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany  Executive Committee of ENGS meets as guests of “Die Grünen Alten”. The ENGS-Manifesto is finalized and the action points for 2008 are defined.
11-13.4.2008 Ljubljana, Slovenia During the EGP-Council, ENGS got the official status of an “EGP-Observer”. Fringe Meeting: “In Good times and in Bad Times – Towards a New Generation Contract”. Representatives from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Austria and from FEYG (Federation European Young Green) were present. 
01.5.2008Sao Paulo, Brazil Global Greens Council in: Participation as a delegate by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, who represented ENGS. 
9-11.5.2008Berlin, Germany


FYEG event, Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel attended for ENGS.
28-31.8.2008Frankfurt am Oder, Germany


Summer Green Academy in. Workshop: “A New Treaty between Young and Old“ by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel and Ute Schmitz.
26-27.9.2008 Utrecht, the Netherlands  General Meeting. Statutes were approved for ENGS to become an INPO – International Non-Profit Organisation.
9-12.10.2008Paris, France


Council Meeting of the EGP – Fringe Meeting on “Assistance to Elderly Migrants”.
25-26.3.2009 Brussels, Belgium General Meeting in the European Parliament. Fringe Meeting “Against Increasing Liberalisation of Social Services in Europe”. ENGS elected its new “Board” (to replace “Executive Committee”) for the next 3 years. 
10.8.2009 Recognition of ENGS as an International Non-Profit Organisation – INPO, under the Belgian register number 0818.851.234 
15-18.10.2009 Malmö, Sweden General Meeting and Board Meeting. ENGS sent the delegate Tony Cooreman to the European Working Group on “The Future of the EGP”. Swedish Green Seniors became a member of ENGS through their chair Eva Hellung Strohl who was listed as an information receiver. Fringe meeting on “Senior Citizens Rights”. Lectures:-       “Roots of Ageism” Dr. Lucille O ‘Shea

–       “International Elderly Rights and Obligations”’ Anita Kelles

–       “Age Border Laws” Tom van der Wal

–       Paper: “Elderly Rights in the European Charter for Safeguarding of Human Rights in the City” Ute Schmitz

–       Power Point Presentation: “Proposal of Elderly Declaration of Right” by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel


12-13.2.2010 Antwerp, Belgium Board Meeting in Groen Secretariaat. First idea of the vision to develop a White Paper and start of European Working group with a White Paper on “Another Ageing is Possible” 
18-19.3.2010 Barcelona, Spain  Board Meeting at EGP Council. Fringe Meeting: “Happiness as an Aspect of a New Aging – Another Aging is Possible” – Work for White Paper 
3.-4.6.2010Antwerp, Belgium


Board Meeting – Cooperation of ENGS with EGF (European Green Foundation) concerning a White Paper. 
July 2010Istanbul, Turkey European Social Forum. ENGS sent 3 delegates to Istanbul in July 2010. Workshop and distribution of the questionnaire about: Social Programs, Good Policies and Happy Aging Indicators for Elderly for White Paper (Anita Kelles, Lucille Ryan O`Shea and Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel) 
10-13.8.2010     Berlin, Germany FYEG anniversary meeting. Participation Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel and Ute Schmitz. Power point presentation on ENGS, distribution of the questionnaire about: Social Programs, Good Policies and Happy Aging Indicators for Elderly for White Paper (Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel und Ute Schmitz). 
29.7-1.8.2010Beire-Pamplona, Spain Universidad Verde de Verano. A start-up, launch from “Red de Verdes Mayores”, a Spanish federation of Green Seniors. Annette Muggenthaler and Colin Lyne take the lead, attended by Tony Cooreman. Lecture and discussion about “ENGS-Green Seniors” 
19-20.8.2010Nantes, France Journées d’été du rassemblement écologiste – presentation Senior working group – start-up of a French Green Seniors Group, Jocelyne Le Boulicaut takes the lead, attended by Tony Cooreman. 
7-10.10.2010 Tallinn, Estonia Board, General and Fringe Meeting at the occasion of the EGP Council. Election of two new board members and a new vice-chairwoman, Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel (A) and a new treasurer, Ria Kaatee (EST). Presentation of a new website: www.greenseniors.eu. Distribution of questionnaires for a White Paper. Tony Cooreman congratulated Dr. Wilhelm Knabe, the co-founder ofENGS to his 87th birthday in the hall of the Council. Wilhelm’s words of thanksincluded his life with retrospect and prospects for young and old. ENGS welcomes two new ENGS members: France – “Commission Vieillesse et Solidarité entre les Générations” with Jocelyne Le Boulicaut as chairwoman and Spain – “Red de Verdes Mayores” with the chairwoman Annette Muggenthaler. Fringe Meeting “Another Aging for Europe!” with guest speaker Didier Coeurnelle from Ecolo Belgium. 
December 2010 Published by Green European Foundation and the financial support of the European Parliament for ENGS: “Another Aging for Europe! – ENGS White Paper with Aging Compass and Happy Aging Indicators”. 
17-18.2.2011 Antwerp, Belgium  Board Meeting, Groen! Secretariaat
2.4.2011Budapest, Hungary Fringe Meeting “Elderly People Now and Elderly People in the Future – The Social Dimension of Aging“. 
11-12.11.2011Paris, France General Assembly and Board Meeting at the EGP-Congress. YOUTUBE-film with the theme: “Why should Seniors vote for European Green Parties?” Title: “European Seniors go Green” with the song: “I am green, green, green…” with prominent European politicians. 
10-11.5.2012 Copenhagen, Denmark Board Meeting at Council meeting. Fringe Meeting: “Age Friendly Cities”, guest speaker with Jean Lambert MEP from London and Pierre Hemon, deputy Mayor of Lyon, France, and presenter Jocelyne Le Boulicaut. In Copenhagen ENGS made interviews with people in the street. A DVD-disc ”Senior Activism in Europe” was produced. 
9-10.11.2012Athens, Greece Board Meeting and General Meeting at EGP Council Meeting. Fringe Meeting “From Age Friendly Cities to an Age Friendly Europe”, presenter Jocelyne Le Boulicaut. 
16.3.2013Berchem, Belgium Extra Board Meeting in offices of Groen of Antwerp.
10-11.5.2013Madrid, Spain Board Meeting and General Assembly at EGP-Council. Vivianne Gunnarsson Sweden was elected as new board member after Jocelyne Le Boulicaut who left the board. Fringe Meeting: “Age Friendly Cities”, guest speakers Jean Lambert from London MEP and Pierre Hemon, deputy mayor of Lyon, France, and presenter Jocelyne Le Boulicaut. Second Fringe Meeting “Age Discrimination is still a Serious Offense”. 
8.11.2013Brussels, Belgium Board Meeting at the EGP Council. Tony Cooreman had written about a pension model for Europe and sent it to the EGP secretariat. 
21.3.2014Ruhr, Germany Extra Board Meeting in Mülheim. A book “The Vintage Generation, the rocking chair revolution” published by The Green Ecoomics Publishing House, Oxford was a project together with ENGS. Vivianne Gunnarsson and Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel and others wrote several articles. 
7.11. 2014Istanbul, Turkey Board Meeting and General Meeting. Four themes are in future our special themes:-        Declaration of Senior Citizens Rights

–        Age Discrimination

–        Age Poverty

–        A Pension Model for Europe

General Assembly: a new concept – to get in contact with European politicians who are responsible for generation policy and wish a good exchange. Workshop for all generations: “How to create a successful election campaign?” with Johannes Hillje, campaign manager, European Greens, Brussels.


15.5.2015Zagreb, Croatia Board Meeting and General Assembly at EGP Council. EGP celebrated ENGS with flowers on ENGS 10-year anniversary. Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel held a speech. Fringe meeting/Workshop ”Climate Change – the long way to save the World” managed by Vivianne Gunnarsson and attended by people from all age groups. It resulted in a proposal to the ongoing EGP campaign to organise green climate marches in all countries on one day before the COP 21 in Paris Nov. 2015. In addition: ENGS produced a report with the ideas from the meeting, “There is no planet B”. 
13.11.2015 Lyon/France Board Meeting and General Assembly at EGP Council. ENGS had planned a General assembly and a board meeting. After the Terrorist Attack in Paris we had to close our ENGS meeting in Lyon without fringe meetings. We all had to leave the premises and got no information until next late day. We had planned a workshop “Fight against Climate Poverty” – especially women and elderly have problems with the climate change. 
20.5.2016Utrecht, the Netherlands Board Meeting and General Assembly in. New board was elected:-                Chairwoman                       Annette Muggenthaler (D)

–                Vice Chairwoman            Vivianne Gunnarsson (S)

–                Treasurer                             Tony Cooreman (B)

–                Secretary General           Frank Hauser (D)

–                Legal Officer                        Reino Lampinen (FI)

–                Press Officer                       Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel (A)

Fringe meeting “Solidarity and Freedom for Europe – clear words, clear position – what holds Europe together?” The open round table was coordinated by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel. Due to attacks in Paris, Ankara and Brussels the round table discussed democracy and a peaceful society ending in a written statement about: “We the older generation are also responsible for how future generations can live together in solidarity”.


2-3.12.2016 Glasgow, Scotland General Assembly in at EGP Council. The meeting concentrated to the future of the ENGS: new direct contacts should be taken to big European organisations in e.g. France, Italy and UK in order to get more Countries to ENGS.After brainstorming the following list of priorities was presented:

–        Climate Change and the elderly

–        Climate Change under the aspects of housing

–        What is to do on ageism in working markets?

–        Labour law and anti-discrimination acts

–        Gender pay gap and Gender pension gap

A fringe meeting was held on Gender pension gap. Chairwoman Annette Muggenthaler presented. Several participants from the EGP attended. It was decided to produce a folder about the organization. This was realized 2017. The pictures from the fringe meeting and a short report were published on facebook.


1.4.2017Liverpool, UK Board meeting at the EGP Council and Global Greens Congress. A fringe meeting with several participants outside ENGS was held on the future update of ENGS Manifesto. ENGS discussed the French Senior`s proposal: Strengthen the pillar of Social Rights – an age perspective and commented the proposal in the EGP voting session. Tony Cooreman held an introduction about the aim of ENGS.-       Discussion on the communication of Members between meetings

–       Extension of the ENGS

–       Planning of an extraordinary meeting of the Board in Hamburg

–       ENGS gave comments on the Statement on “the third pillar (of the EU) on social rights, an age perspective”. EGP was preparing a resolution and the EGP Council decided on a proposal by Ska Keller to set up an activity group to elaborate the resolution. ENGS will ask for a place there.


28-29.7.2017Hamburg, Germany Extraordinary Board meeting. The meeting concentrated to administrative issues and planning of the future activities. Annette Muggenthaler was released from her function as the Chairwoman. No discrimination on the job-market” was chosen as the title for the next meeting in Karlstad. 

It was decided to share the work between the Board members and the vice-chair would take on the responsibility as the chair until next General assembly. The board was invited to a meeting with the Hamburg seniors by their chair Christa Möller.


25.11.2017Karlstad, Sweden General assembly and board meeting at the EP Council. Vivianne Gunnarsson continues as the vice-chair. Kris Fierens was chosen as a member of the Board, and he helps Tony Cooreman with the economic issues. An idea of creating a permanent e-mail address for ENGS was raised, e.g. engs@gmail.com 

A fringe meeting was held under the title “No discrimination for the elderly in the job market”. Vivianne Gunnarsson made an introduction to the fringe with facts about the job market in Europe. There exists age discrimination all over Europe and that people fall out from the job market earlier than ever. A summary can be found on the web site. Stefan Nilsson, Sweden, member of national parliament, introduced a Swedish study on reasons for discrimination in the job market. The discussion after the presentation concentrated on the voluntary work of/for the aged – this could be an issue to be dealt with in the future.


ENGS had no candidate for the chair. Hence, Vivianne Gunnarsson continues as vice chair but with the responsibilities as a chair. At the Board meeting it was decided to continue to invite Christa Möller to the board meetings.


At the EGP meeting the resolution in Liverpool from the French group on strengthening the pillar of Social Rights was not carried.


19.5.2018Antwerp, Belgium Board meeting. Christa Möller, Germany, was invited to attend and will work with the Board. 

The Flemish greens had put forward a resolution on the social pillar issue on which ENGS had made amendments. Two of these were taken by EGP. The Board was dissatisfied on the EGP Resolution and tries to raise the issue of the elderly with the EGP.


Parts of the board visited our founder Tony Cooreman who was in hospital since a long time.


A fringe meeting was a seminary held under title “Losing Elections by losing the elderly Voters” presented by Frank Hauser, Secretary General. A note based on the presentation was sent 3.6.2018 to Monica Frassoni and Reinhardt Bütikofer, chairs of the EGP, and the Secretary General, Mar Garcia. The latter answered promising to take the note to the committee preparing EGP Manifesto for next six years.


23-25.11.2018 Berlin, Germany Board meeting, general assembly and fringe meeting. Discussion of the upcoming EU Parliament elections and our efforts to increase the membership. We also checked the new EGP Manifesto and were satisfied on the formulation concerning the elderly. 

Vivianne Gunnarsson promised to continue as a vice chair with the responsibility of chair until someone else steps forward. Kris Fierens was elected to be our new Treasurer.


In the general assembly we gave our Tribute to our Co-Founder, Board member and Treasurer Tony Cooremans who died 7.7.2018. Kris Fierens and Frank Hauser had attended the funeral to give Tony a farewell in the name of ENGS. In the death notice and announcement for the funeral was written that he was “Oprichter van het European Network of Green Seniors”. Memoriam was closed with the minute of silence. ENGS had arranged a table with a book and photo of Tony Cooreman for people to give condolence.


The Fringe meeting in Berlin was a round table for discussing on more elderly to vote in the EU elections, coordinated by Frank Hauser and Vivianne Gunnarsson. The discussion was arranged on the basis of Frank Hauser’s report in the 19.5.2018 Assembly.


4-5.10.2019Vienna, Austria Board meeting. The board named seven items from which five would be chosen later for our items for next three years:-       Green Senior Activities in EGP Proposals

–       More membership organisations and more engagements of persons

–       Silver Economy

–       Age friendly cities including WHO Network

–       Grannies/Grandpas for climate

–       Volunteer work and the labour markets

–       Biodiversity – how does this effect the elderly


In the next meeting in Tampere November 2019 we planned to make plans for the future of ENGS.


8-9.11.2019 Tampere, Finland General assembly, fringe meeting and board meeting. Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, former chair and social media officer, left the board and we gave her our warmest thanks for all her work for ENGS. Board members for subsequent three years were elected as follows:-        Vivianne Gunnarsson, Sweden, vice chair (continues for one year)

–        Frank Hauser, Germany, secretary general (continues for one year)

–        Kris Fierens, Belgium, treasurer

–        Reino Lampinen, Finland, legal officer (continues for one year)

–        Christa Möller, Germany, press and social media officer (to be confirmed)

–        Agneta Granström, Sweden

–        Irmgard Seidler, Austria


At the fringe meeting a presentation by Reino Lampinen on the programme of the new Government in Finland and its promises concerning the elderly. The slides and minutes from Lampinen’s lecture are on the website.


At the Board meeting three first items were chosen for next three years period, namely Age-friendly cities, Age-friendly remote areas and Silver economy. Areas like pneumonia vaccination and voluntary work were also discussed. We also planned the future of ENGS. Next Fringe meeting will be managed by Frank Hauser and Christa Möller about Age friendly cities.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email