What exciting days at the EGP Congress in Lyon! We, the European Green Seniors, have tabled an amendment to the manifesto of the European Greens. We can’t do this ourselves yet, but the Flemish delegates tabled the motion for us. The German delegation soon agreed to support us as well.
We had already been asked by EGP to introduce a passage with topics specifically for older people. For the first time! We did this, of course, but in the end we were not happy with the many cuts made by the editors. Hence the additions to the amendment.
And our motion was dealt with on the very first day of the Congress – and passed with flying colours! What a joy! We didn’t even have to defend it.
There was also a lot going on at the stand, many good conversations with people from Slovenia, Lithuania, Italy, France, Romania, Luxembourg and Spain! We were well prepared, had a flyer about Age-friendly City, a short version of our 10 demands, invitation flyers for our event and an announcement flyer for our performance. And, of course, we had a list of addresses on which anyone interested could sign up. We are still in the process of analysing everything, but there were over 50 people who would like to be informed or involved. Yeah!
Our performance in the foyer was a complete success: during the break, when all the delegates were there, we marched away one after the other with prepared cardboard. We had printed our10 Manifesto demands on the cards. Our president Kris was there with a Senior Rights top hat. It was a real eye-catcher and our queue soon dispersed as we were involved in numerous conversations. And again, lots and lots of approval from all sides.
The highlight came afterwards: our invitation to talk about “How older people can make a difference in the next elections”. We gave an introductory talk and then we talked intensively, with many great examples from eleven EU-countries. Conclusion: Without us older people, the elections in Europe will not be won. Older people go voting! And they are at least 20 percent of our society (people over 65). And even more voters.
And there is a lot to do for older people in Europe, as you can see in our manifesto, from poverty in old age to barrier-free mobility, from ageing in place to culturally sensitive care. We have to take care of senior citizens’ politics, be in dialogue with them and listen. The project of Age-friendly Cities and Communities of the WHO is a very good base for this. So lets go and welcome Green Seniors in European parties, because that is exactly what we Greens have always stood for: We don’t talk about social groups, we let them talk for themselves!
A prepared seminar on World Peace from Irmgard Seidler was not held due to lack of zoom-conference connection to guest speakers from Green Party US. The seminar will be point of discussion at our next zoom-session with anticipated webinar in April.