Oh wie spannend, am Freitag kommen die europäischen Grünen Alten zu einer Tagung nach Hamburg und wir werden uns am Freitagabend treffen. Ich bin sehr gespannt.
Zur Vorbereitung hat Schatzmeister Tony Cooreman vom European Network of Green Seniors (ENGS) mir schon einmal einige Unterlagen geschickt, u.a. ein Manifest und die Geschichte der ENGS, die ich hier in den Blog kopiere. Ist allerdings alles auf Englisch.
MANIFESTO OF THE ENGS
In the near future Europe will witness a demographic change which will have to be addressed in both the political and economic spheres. This change will come about as the total population decreases overall while the number of older people increases. All European countries will be confronted with this reality. Under these circumstances the older people are too often only seen as a cost factor, responsible for every budgetary crisis, damaging the domestic economy and holding back economic growth.
We do not see the demographic development as a coming battle between the generations. The European Network of Green Seniors (ENGS) does not share this negative view. Instead we see here an opportunity to work positively together with all age groups for a common future where we can share our experience with the enthusiasm of the young people.
There needs to be a change in perspective which gets rid of the stereotypes that see the old people either as a poor and dependent group in society or as selfishly hanging onto their wealth and property. In fact our needs are as diverse as any other in society. As we age we intend to continue to participate actively in this society for the common good as long as we are able.
In addition, as the population continues to age, older citizens will have to take on more responsibility. Older people are a hidden resource having a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills which needs to be discovered and acknowledged.
Politicians should place their trust in the capability of senior citizens and welcome their participation in setting and implementing the political agenda.
As Greens many of us can look back to the beginnings of our movement. Some of us were founding members.
For us the question is not so much what the Green movement can do for senior citizens, but more what we can do for the Green movement since we can be generous with our experience, time, energy and creativity.
Therefore, regarding the Green seniors’ approach the question rather is what can we elderly people do to improve ecological politics and the Green parties than what can the Green parties provide to their senior militants
From our perspective we can see that the Green movement with its social and ecological issues is not a temporary one. We know that if mankind wants to survive, it needs an everlasting Green movement.
The Green movement is neither regional nor national. It is both international and world-wide. While other parties can limit their activities to a particular region or nation, ecologists in the end cannot. For ecologists international activities are essential. The ENGS seeks to base its actions on the party programmes of the Greens in Europe and on the Guiding Principles of the EGP, seeking solutions to the changed demographics of the continent with more and more old people.
In order to achieve the above we set up the following points in our manifesto which are of concern to the personal life of the old people on the one hand and on the other hand are the result of our entire lifelong experience that we want to bring into the Green political arena. By doing this we seek to contribute to reaching the common Green goals such as solidarity, peace, sustainability, fair trade and the prevention of climate change.
1. No Discrimination in the Job Market
ENGS rejects the discrimination of older employees in the job market through such practices as enforced early retirement and the refusal to retrain or upgrade them. No profession should routinely enforce early retirement irrespective of the health or ability of the employee. We also demand job training possibilities for older employees.
The consequences of the new regulations in Europe aiming at excluding age in the wage scale should urgently be examined.
- Passing on Experience – Lifelong Learning
ENGS wishes that the knowledge and experience of the older people be integrated into society as a whole and into the place of work in particular.
Many older people have gained strategic thinking and acting and social competence in a long professional life, what young people still have to learn. On the other hand the older people need IT support and training. On this field most of the time younger people are better.
That is the reason why we seek the right to life-long learning, the right to the exchange of knowledge and to mentoring especially between older and younger people, in the place of work as well as in private.
The need for IT support and training should not be an excuse for disregarding or underestimating the many abilities of the older employees.
In this way we would create new chances for our society through joint activities of the older and the younger people.
Other discriminated groups like low-income persons, migrants and handicapped should be supported much more than up to now.
- The Right to Personal and Social Development
All generations and all members of society should have the right to personal and social development. This enables a well educated person (in the society) to live in liberty and with self-determination.
A stable and attractive democratic society values diversity whether it be by age, by ethnic origin, by urban or rural life-styles. There should be an equality of access to the means to achieve this diversity. Neither poverty nor age should be a barrier. True awareness should enable people to understand their place in the whole ecosystem. In order to achieve this mutual respect, acknowledgement of the integrity of the other should be fostered. Intercultural and sensuous talents can be developed in old age, too.
- Voluntary Work
We “young seniors” do not want to become a cost and load factor to society after we stop working, but we want to use the time given to us for a meaningful social engagement.
Through our voluntary work we would like to shift the values and give the terms “work” and “leisure” a new meaning.
Society must however honour our engagement in the communities by providing agencies for voluntary work, which are well organized and allow participation and inputs for their structure.
However, this does not mean to take over normal jobs, sack the employees and replace them with voluntary workers without payment.
The countries where voluntary work is already organized are of course exempted. There we should however demand the official recognition of voluntary work and the creation of real regulations for the volunteers.
- Old Age Pensions
We exert ourselves for a sufficient pension-scheme for everyone which through depreciation does not lead to poverty in old age. A basic income concept must also be discussed.
- New forms of living for old people
We seniors of the ENGS want to spend our life in our own flat or house as long as possible. We do not want to live in ghettos for older people, which may create greater dependency, nor in a fragmented society, which the division by age groups may produce. If we need to be cared for, a diversity of possible concepts must be made available. Such different forms of living, also for older people are: living in multiple-generation houses, in a normal neighbourhood or in shared flats.
It should also be possible to obtain financial aid to convert a private home which has become too large into other forms of living.
- Against an Increasing Liberalisation of Social Services
ENGS demands clear regulations for social services as basic care in Europe. We reject the definition of such services as ‚goods‘ to be traded in the free market economy. Instead we demand their legal protection as public services. It has to be guaranteed that social services and the health service, which concern the citizens, especially the old people, can be kept as basic care in the future. Health care and social services should by no means be limited because of status or residency rights.
- Assistance to Elderly Migrants
The welfare benefit systems should be made available to all heterogeneous group of migrants in such a way that they may easily get access to them according to their cultural backgrounds. We support an intercultural opening and modernization of the assistance given to elderly migrants. In order to achieve this, those working for these services should obtain the relevant information directly from the groups concerned and their representatives.
- Access to Health Care. Dying with Dignity
A healthy and responsible way of life may help promote good health. The elderly should have access to good quality health care from a variety of providers including professionals, volunteers and relatives. For those who wish it, terminal care should be provided at home or in a hospice with palliative medicine.
Old people’s homes should be subject to regular checks by residents associations which also have the respective authority for such inspections.
Public transport should be made accessible and safe for all age groups so that it is not too cumbersome to take the train, tram or bus. There should be concessionary fares for those on low incomes.
In order to make public transport more safe the number of the security personnel should be increased.
- A new Treaty between Young and Old
In the future with the demographic change in whole Europe, the older people will have to contribute more to the economy and to society. There needs to be a co-operation between the young and the old. While the young may fear unemployment, the older people may fear poverty as they age. This is the reason for a new treaty between the generations. The older people want to help find the best solutions for the problems concerned and thereby strengthen and maintain the cohesion of the generations.
- The seniors of the ENGS want to be active on all political fields that are of concern for their personal life.
The Seniors of the ENGS interfere in all political issues that concern our society:
- We engage ourselves for a sustainable future of Europe , by not letting consumption become the only content of our lives and thereby proving that by practising non-consumption we can enable a better future for the people in the poorer nations.
- If there is already a globalization, we want to develop it socially and ecologically and demand a meaningful growth for the economy.
- Instead of the profitabilty thinking with its discriminating value scale of human resources we want to stress the ethical aspects of human life, which has its own purpose. The sense of life is not work as such, the sense of life is life itself.
- Green national and supranational activities are necessary, because we need an effective counterbalance to the existing multinational, economic and financial structures and organizations, which are successfully active in our globalized world and do not have any problems with other languages, religions, mentalities, national identities or national attitudes.
- There is an essential difference between the Greens and the traditional parties: The Greens bring an entire new dimension into politics. They are not only interested in the life of the human society, but also in the co-existence of the society with the environment and in the natural right of all species of living creatures to live and to survive under natural circumstances. That is the reason why there can not be a clear projection of the Green positions onto a simplified left-right pattern.
- Because energy should be available to everyone, we demand that the control and delivery of energy remain a publice service which under no circumstances may become a victim of Other services such as public transport, mail delivery, telephones and health care are also social services. We engage ourselves that all these remain public services or are reinstated as public services or as co-operatives, where this is no longer the case.
- Natural catastrophes as well as social and other disasters and calamities have international dimensions.The reaction of the world is often an immediate overwhelming act of solidarity. However, what this globalized world really needs are not only spontaneous international solidarity campaigns, but effective and sustainable solidarity structures. The Greens not only have to support NGOs such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International as well as the UN, the European Union and UNICEF, but they must also create something new. Beside the European network an international network of Green seniors should be founded.
- In order to save life on earth the competition cannot be one between the traditional political parties, but one between science, industry and technology on one side and the ecologists on the other. If science cannot find a solution, there can only be the solutions of the Green Movement which mean living in another way, creating another economy or considering other terms of prosperity for our families and nations, i.e. terms for the use of values and not terms for the exchange of values.
- If science does not offer alternatives, the world will be forced to live differently. This can lead to violent conflicts because of the lack of water and other resources. The ecologists, who are always warning that such conflicts may occur, must defend the cohesion in international democracy and thereby avoid wars and violence in the best possible way.
All these points are the reason why we must strengthen the Green Movement on an international level. Therefore the ENGS needs politically motivated people, who are willing to help reach these goals.
Und hier kommt die Geschichte:
History of the ENGS
07.12.2005 Founded in the EU Parliament in Brussels with representatives of 8 parties from 7 countries.
They endorsed the “Declaration of Brussels”.
26.6.2006 2nd General Meeting in the Landtag (NRW Parliament), Düsseldorf/Germany 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 an European Green Party (Ludo Diericks)
- Lecture about Housing for Elderly (Harald Wölter)
13./14.10.2006 ENGS was represented at the EGP-Congress in Geneva/Swizerland, Switzerland with an own stand in front of the meeting auditorium.
28.-30.12.200 Executive Committee of ENGS meets in Vienna/Austria 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 Executive Committee of ENGS meets in Brussels/Belgium with representatives from 9 parties. First reading and discussion on the ENGS-Manifesto.
12.-14.10.2007 3rd General Meeting of ENGS at the 7th EGP-Council Meeting in in Vienna/Austria, 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 and 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 Executive Committee of ENGS meets in KV Mülheim an der Ruhr/Germany as guests of “Die Grünen Alten”. The ENGS-Manifesto is finalized and the action points for 2008 are defined.
11-13.04.2008 During the 8th EGP-Council in Ljubljana/Slovenia, ENGS got the official status of “EGP-Observer”
11.04.2008 Fringe Meeting in Ljubjana/Slovenia: “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.
01.05.2008 Global Greens Council in Sao Paulo/Brazil: Participation as delegate by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel, who represented ENGS
9-11.5.2008 FYEG event in Berlin/Germany Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel attended for ENGS
28.-31.08.2008 Summer Green Academy in Frankfurt am Oder/Germany – Workshop:
“A New Treaty between Young and Old“ held by Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel and Ute Schmitz
26-27.09.2008 4th General Meeting of ENGS in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Statutes were approved for ENGS to become a INPO- International Non Profit Organisation.
09.-12.10.2008 9th Council Meeting of the EGP in Paris/France – Fringe Meeting on “Assistence to Elderly Migrants”
25-26.03.2009 5th General Meeting in the European Parliament in Brussels/Belgium
- Fringe Meeting “ Against Increasing Liberalisation of Social Services in Europe”
- ENGS elected its new board” for the next 3 years.
10.08.2009 Recognition of ENGS as an International Non Profit Organisation – INPO , under the Belgian register number 0818.851.234
15.-18.10.2009 6th General Meeting and Board Meeting in Malmö, Sweden – ENGS sends the delegate Tony Coreman to the European Working Group on “The Future of the EGP” – Fringe meeting on “Senior Citizens Rights” –
- Lectures: „Roots of Ageism“ 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“ Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel
12.-13.2.2010 Board Meeting in Groen Secretariaat, Antwerpen, Belgium. First idea of the vision to develop a White Paper and start of European Workgroup with a White Paper on “Another Ageing is Possible”
18.-19.03.2010 Board Meeting at the 12th EGP Council in Barcelona, Spain; and Fringe Meeting: “Happiness as an Aspect of a New Ageing- Another Ageing is Possible” –Work for White Paper
03.-04.06.2010 Board Meeting in Antwerpen, Belgium –Cooperation of ENGS with EGF (European Green Foundation) concerning the White Paper
- ENGS sent 3 delegates to Istanbul in July 2010 –
July 2010 European Social Forum in Istanbul,Türkei: Workshop and distribution of the questionnaire about: Social Programs, Good Policies and Happy Ageing Iindicators for Elderly for White Paper (Anita Kelles, Lucille Ryan O`Shea and Birgit Schiebel-Meinhard)
August 2010 August 2010 FYEG 20th anniversary meeting in Berlin, Germany: Participation Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel and Ute Schmitz;
- Power point presentation on ENGS, Distribution of the questionnaire about: Social Programs, Good Policies and Happy Ageing Indicators for Elderly for White Paper
(Birgit Schiebel Meinhard und Ute Schmitz)
29.07 – 01.08.2010 Universidad Verde de Verano – Beire-Pamplona, Spain; 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
19-20.08.2010 Journées d’été du rassemblement écologiste– Nantes, France –
- presentation Senior working – start up of a French Green Seniors Group –
- Jocelyne Le Boulicaut takes the lead, attended by Tony Cooreman
07.-10.10.2010 Board- and 7th General and Fringe Meeting at the occasion of the 13th EGP Council in Tallinn, Estonia
- Election of 2 new board members and a new vice-chairwoman, Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel and a new treasurer, Ria Kaatee.
- Presentation of our new website : www.greenseniors.eu ,
- distribution of questionnaires for White Paper,
- Tony Cooreman congratulated Wilhelm Knabe, the co-founder of ENGS to his 87th birthday in the hall of the Council. Wilhelm’s words of thanks included 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 Ageing for Europe!”with guest speaker Didier Coeurnelle from Ecolo -Belgium
December 2010 Published by Green European Foundation for ENGS: “Another Ageing for Europe! –ENGS White Paper with Ageing Compass and Happy Ageing Indicators” and the financial support of the European Parliament.
17./18.02.2011 Board Meeting, Groen! Secretariaat, Statiestraat 146 – 2600 Berchem – Antwerpen, Belgium
02.04.2011 Fringe Meeting Budapest, Hungary “Elderly People Now and Elderly People in the Future – The Social Dimension of Ageing“
11-12.11.2011 7th General Meeting and Board Meeting in Paris, France at the EGP-Congress
- Starting in Paris, France the YOU TUBE 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
09-10.11.2012 9th Board Meeting (7.30 – 10.00h) and General Meeting (18.00 – 19.00h) at 17th Council Meeting of EGP in Athens, Greece
- Fringe Meeting “From Age Friendly Cities to an Age Friendly Europe” presenter Jocelyne Le Boulicaut
16.03.2013 10th Extra Board Meeting (10.00 to 17.00 h) in offices of Groen in Antwerpen, Berchem, Belgium
10-11.05.2013 8th Board Meeting at 16th Council meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark
- Fringe Meeting: “Age Friendly Cities” guest speaker with Jean Lambert from London MEP and Pierre Hemon, deputy mayor of Lyon, France, and presenter Jocelyne Le Boulicaut
10.05.2013 11th Board Meeting (11.30 to 13.40 h) and General Assembly (11.00 to 12.45 h) at EGP-Council in Madrid, Spain
Fringe Meeting (14.00 to 15.30 h) “Age Discrimination is still a Serious Offense”
08.11.2013 Board Meeting (16.30 to 18.30 h) at the EGP-Council in Brussels, Belgium
21.03.2014 Extra Board Meeting in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
07.11. 2014 Board Meeting (14,00 to 16,00 h) and General Meeting (10,30 to 12,30 h) in Istanbul, Turkey. Four themes are in future our special themes:
- Declaration of Senior Citizens Rights
- Age Discrimination
- Age Poverty
- A Pension Model for Europe
General Assembly: We decided to work with a new concept: We get in contact with European Politicians who are responsible for generation policy and wish a good exchange.
We had the workshop (19.00 to 21,00 h) for all generations: “How to create a successful election campaign?” with Johannes Hillje, campaign manager, European Greens, Brussels
15.05.2015 Board Meeting and General Assembly at EGP Council in Zagreb/ Croatia (15. – 17.5.2015)
Our Workshop ”Climate Change – the long way to save the World”
13.11.2015 Board Meeting and General Assembly at 23th EGP Council (13.-15.11.2015) in Lyon/France
Our Workshop “Fight against Climate Poverty” – especially women and elderly have problems with the climate change
20.5.2016 Board Meeting and General Assembly in Utrecht/ the Netherlands. New board was elected:
- Chairwoman Annette Muggenthaler (D)
- Vice Chairwoman Vivianne Gunnarsson (S)
- Treasurer Tony Cooreman (B)
- General Secretary Frank Hauser (D)
- Legal Officer Reino Lampinen (FI)
- Press Officer Birgit Meinhard-Schiebel (A)
2-3.12.2016 General Assembly in Glasgow/Scotland at EGP Council. The meeting concentrated to the future of the ENGS: in order to get more Countries to ENGS new direct contacts should be taken to big European organisations as France, Italy and UK.
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.
1.4.2017 General Assembly in Liverpool/UK, at the EGP Council and Global Greens Congress.
- Discussion on the communication of Members between meetings
- Extension of the ENGS
- Planning of an extraordinary meeting of the Board, 28-30.7. in Hamburg
- Comments by the ENGS on the Statement on “the third pillar (of the EU) on social rights, an age perspective” to be adopted as a resolution of the EGP
A fringe meeting with several participants outside ENGS was held on the future update of ENGS Manifesto.