The fact of the matter is: irrespective of the political connotation that will be presented by the next Parliament and the European Commission, when launching future European policies they will have to take account of a European population which is increasing in age and which, as such, plays a decisive part in the Union’s social and productive choices.
Hence the renewed commitment of FERPA – the European Federation of Retired and Elderly People – which the General Secretary, Italian Agostino Siciliano, elected to the position just a few months ago, predicted – on ITALIANNETWORK/ ITALIALAVOROTV – to support the rights and needs of pensioners in Europe.
“We are in quite a complex situation, but it is all the more complex because our elderly people, who have contributed to the unity of this Europe of ours, are facing the European elections in a phase of nationalism, populism and sovereignism, whereas they were previously accustomed to reformism. Reform aimed at a higher standard of living, reform aimed at a more cohesive welfare system. Today we live in a completely different climate! However,” Siciliano continues, “I believe we must tackle the situation boldly. Above all, refraining from behaving like politicians. Let me explain: some states are against the European project. Which for us means going back, walking down a dark street again… We face the task of changing Europe, creating the conditions for a more cohesive and social Europe. A Europe where there is less talk of GDP, of spread, of budget surpluses of individual states and more talk of solidarity, of a Europe of peoples where all are citizens, irrespective of age, have the same rights and the same opportunities for growth. This is why in this context we must try to ensure that FERPA is a protagonist of change, through a series of initiatives, and does not remain at the mercy of events”.
“During this election campaign period the most important thing is to send very precise signals. We at FERPA have decided to use a door-to-door policy, endeavouring to involve each individual candidate with a card, which can be found on our website, downloaded, stamped and sent to each individual candidate or political force taking part in the elections.
There are three points stated on the card, or three fundamental rights of pensioners in Europe: the right to a decent public pension, health and an active old age.