More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

european Youth ForumOn the eve of the 8th European Day of Solidarity between Generations, celebrated on 29 April, many disadvantages and obstacles still prevent the equal participation of the young and the older generations across the European Union. To mark that EU Day, the European Parliament Intergroup on Active Ageing, Intergenerational Solidarity and Family policies, AGE Platform Europe and the European Youth Forum join forces to organise an event to shed light on the widespread experiences of ageism at both ends of the life spectrum with the support of MEPs from various political groups.

We are living for longer… this is an obvious fact for most EU countries. But although this positive development should significantly influence our perception of ageing, many negative and out-dated stereotypes still prevail and impact older people in their everyday lives. “If the rise in life expectancy is acknowledged through pension reforms being implemented across the EU, this societal achievement is not reflected in all areas of society in which age barriers and prejudices remain persistent for older persons”, points out Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE Platform Europe.

At the other end of the age spectrum, younger people continue to face discrimination and do not have access to their rights, preventing them from leading the kind of autonomous, independent lives they should. “Young people are often perceived as inexperienced due to their age, regardless of the actual knowledge, skills and capacities they possess” highlights Allan Päll, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum. Almost one in five young people experienced age-based discrimination when looking for a job, based on the results of the Youth Forum’s survey on Multiple Discrimination and Young People in Europe. Discrimination at an early age can negatively impact young people’s health, well-being, self-esteem and sense of belonging, all of which are likely to hinder their transition to adulthood and autonomy.

Ageism is indeed experienced both by older and young people. It is entrenched in attitudes but also in many laws, policies and practices.  This so-called ‘structural ageism’ reflects age prejudices and de-prioritise, disregard or even exclude older people, as AGE Platform Europe explained in a new position paper which gathers the views of some of our 150+ member organisations’ common experiences and makes recommendations to promote older people’s rights in the context of intergenerational fairness.

Promoting intergenerational interactions to create equal societies is essential here. As underlined by Alojz Peterle, MEP for the EPP group and Vice-President of the Intergroup’s subgroup on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, “neither citizens nor MEPs stand the inequalities and discrimination. We should tackle ageism entrenched in attitudes, organisations, laws and practices that creates obstacles to the equal participation of the young and the older generations by better collaboration. Solidarity between generations begins with a fundamental respect for individual’s human dignity. To me intergenerational solidarity offers a platform that will inevitably lead to a higher degree of social inclusion by bridging similar challenges both older and young people are facing: how to be an active and valued contributor to society.”

Heinz K. Becker, MEP for the EPP group and Vice-President of the Intergroup’s subgroup on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, added that “by boosting solidarity and cooperation between generations we foster the exchange of experience and knowledge and therefore we strengthen cohesion of younger and older generations. Moreover we give a fresh impetus to the European economy.”

The joint event at the European Parliament was the opportunity to build the case for intergenerational exchange and solidarity and ensure that young and older people work together for the creation of fairer, more inclusive and sustainable societies for all ages. Two best practices were notably presenting, one led by Stadsdorpen and one by Volunteurope, which are both aiming to build bridges between younger and older people in their communities, in urban and rural areas. Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP for the EPP group and Coordinator of the Intergroup’s subgroup on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations underlined that “in these times of demographic changes, cities and rural areas face their own issues. I see the importance of both younger people and older people in these situations. Europe has to take serious lessons out of the experiences rural areas and cities are facing. It is a wake-up call. Whether we are 15, 40, 70 or even 100, managing our future together is the key forward.”

A variety of speakers, MEPs and NGO leaders, shared practices and perspectives of both age groups. This was followed by a debate open to audience which generated new ideas and discussion common vision of a society for all ages. Concluding the event, Brando Benifei, MEP for the S&D group, ViceChair of the Youth Intergroup and Member of the Intergroup’s subgroup on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, called on the EU institutions to take action to promote intergenerational solidarity: “steps were made during the European Year 2012 on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, but some others are still lacking. We need to continue pushing for the Horizontal Directive and to contribute to the on-going discussions around the EU Pillar of Social Rights, the European Accessibility Act and the social aspects of the Country Specific Recommendations within the European Semester. It is crucial to allow older and younger generations benefit from the right to independent living.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

‘Endemic’ sexual violence surging in South Sudan: UN human rights office

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

China-EU Summit on 16-17 July 2018: “Work together to address common challenges”, by China’s Ambassador to the EU

China greenlights first underwater high-speed railway

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

Climate change and health: a much needed multidisciplinary approach

The gender gap of medicine in 2018

Cyprus Parliament says no to blackmail

Where are people most proud to be European?

The EU Parliament and the ECB unknowingly or unwillingly fail to protect our financial assets

A refugee from Syria cries out: “I’m not just a number!”

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

How a trade war would impact global growth

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

High level political talks didn’t break the stalemate in Ukraine

India is a latecomer to AI. Here’s how it plans to catch up

EU to present a “hefty” exit bill to the UK moments before Brexit negotiations

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Diplomacy for Peace Day, #VaccinesWork, the cost of war on Afghans, tech and well-being

There are more than 1 billion guns in the world and this is who owns them

UN global education envoy urges new funding for ‘lost generation’ of children forced out of classrooms by conflict

The role of students in a migration crisis in Roraima, Brazil

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

The world wide web is 30. Here are 8 things you should know about it

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

UN global counter-terrorism strategy review an ‘overarching vision for the future’: Assembly President

How civil society must adapt to survive its greatest challenges

This forgotten chemical element could be the key to our green energy future

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

Moscow’s Eurasian Union lost significance after the crisis in Ukraine

Trump fines China with $50 billion a year plus some more…

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

A new era of computing is coming. How can we make sure it is sustainable?

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Global Business Community Comes to Paris with Solutions for Taking On the Climate Challenge Across the Board

It’s not kids’ screen time you should worry about – it’s yours

“An open China brings opportunities to Europe”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to EU

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

Europe on the Move: Commission completes its agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

FROM THE FIELD: Survival in Yemen against all odds

Commission Vice-President Rehn exaggerates Eurozone’s growth prospects

EU leaders slammed on anti-tax evasion inaction and expensive energy

To hope or doubt? The state of women’s progress in the world

The Franco-German axis considers that all EU needs now is more armaments

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

Although Greece is struggling to pay salaries and pensions Varoufakis is “optimistic”; the Sting reports live from EBS 2015

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

Trade negotiations with US can start under certain conditions

Will AI make the gender gap in the workplace harder to close?

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

EU budget: Regional Development and Cohesion Policy beyond 2020

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s