The European federation of retired and elderly persons (FERPA) plans to conduct an awareness raising campaign to focus more social and political attention on the situation of 100 million individuals aged over 65 living in all European countries, whose number is bound to increase given the lengthened life expectancy.
This situation today calls for political, social and economic policies respectful of a harmonious, dignified and decent life based on justice and solidarity.
Retirement and old age should usher in a new phase of life to be enjoyed in peace and quiet, not in decline and loneliness. Every European citizen, young or old, must understand that defence of the rights of elderly persons is an investment in his or her own future. The rights of retired and elderly persons today will be theirs as they reach old age tomorrow.
If the rights we enjoy today are destroyed, there will be no guaranteed rights tomorrow. We are calling for a social Europe, based on democratic values and social justice, which are indispensable in forging the requisite unity and solidarity between the Member States – values which are also indispensable in fighting against divisions and the resurgence of dangerous nationalisms.
For FERPA, the promotion of such values as democracy, freedom, equality and social equity required the implementation of European policies that affect all aspects of life. Such policies must take into account the social dimensions, conditions of income, health, housing, and compliance with the ethical principles and the environment.
It is a matter of civilisation and democracy – no more, no less. FERPA is launching this awareness raising and social and political interest campaign in all European countries to draw attention to the situation of retired people irrespective of their age.
We want to – indeed we must – fight against every form of isolation and discrimination, in particular those linked to age and ageing, put human beings at the centre of the discussion.