In 2014, AGE Platform Europe, the largest network of older people’s organisations in the EU, has established a manifesto, campaigning tools for older people and a blog to bring forward the concerns of older people. Different progresses have been made, but some very important dossiers have been stalled however.
1. Promote equal opportunities and the realisation of human rights for all
In this domain, the proposal on a horizontal non-discrimination directive, which is in the legislative pipeline since 2008, is extremely important to older people. Currently, discrimination on the basis of age is only prohibited in the area of employment, but in all other walks of life, the EU principle of non-discrimination (enshrined in the treaties and in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights), is still not backed by legislation.
2. Guarantee the adequacy, fairness and sustainability of Europe’s social protection and social inclusion systems
Despite some progress concerning older persons in social protection and social inclusion, and calls from European Parliament to address the issue, little has been done to achieve the Europe 2020 poverty target.
3. Ensure universal access to goods and services, in particular to the built environment, ICT, mobility and public services
Some improvements have been made on the accessibility of goods and services. For example, the web accessibility directive has been adopted and will oblige the public sector to make online services accessible.
4. Support the right to grow and age in good mental and physical health
This topic is one that needs mainstreaming across the EU’s work, especially in the domains of consumer rights, in the European Semester (concerning health care spending), European structural and investment funds, as well as research projects that allow to build health infrastructures and access to medicines.
5. Create age-friendly labour markets and economy
As the recovery from the crisis has set on only late, the labour market was very present in the work of this Parliament. Slowly, the consciousness that it is more difficult for older workers, especially older jobseekers, to keep in the labour market with higher retirement ages has grown. The Parliament has called on the Commission and member states several times to develop second-career labour markets and to address the unemployment of older workers.
6. Protect the right to live and die in dignity
The European Union has made great progress in addressing violence against women, but the specific situation regarding older women and elder abuse is not sufficiently addressed. Also lacking attention are the rights to long-term care and dignity at the end of life.