Brief report from the Ljubljana Meetings on 06 and 07 May 2016

LJUBLJANA kopie

The Slovenian Union of Pensioners, ZDUS, conference on the “Effectiveness and Impact of Senior Organizations on Society” and the Spring General Council meeting of EURAG in Ljubljana are over. The participants of these significant events – coming from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Latvia, the Netherlands and Slovenia – had an exclusive chance to meet and exchange with the attending representatives of Slovenian authorities as well as with members of the senior organizations. Thus they could learn about the effectiveness of the activities of public institutions in favour of older persons and present themselves examples of their own concerns and achievements. The conference took place in the monumental, beautiful City Hall of Ljubljana and the Mayor himself, Zoran Jankovič, came to greet the participants and the guests. He expressed the view, that the issues connected with ageing and the problems of seniors must be solved by society at large and that he is going to support any reflection and discussion contributing to the improvement of the situation of seniors.

Very high level and most interesting contributions were also made Minister of Foreign Affairs, a representative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Deputy Ombudsman for Human Rights of Slovenia and the Vice-President of ZDUS. Also the President of the AGE Platform and the President of EURAG delivered opening speeches. During the second part of the conference the members of EURAG from France, Latvia, Netherlands, Israel and the Czech Republic made contributions and provided concrete examples of the often very difficult situation of older persons in their countries and how their respective organisations respond to them. Thus the conference was very attractive and inspiring for all participants.

The following session of EURAG brought the constructive discussion on the internal questions and evaluated also the participation of its members on the international base, especially the participation of its members in the other European organizations like AGE, Social Platform and others. The results showed that EURAG is very strong, highly respected organization on the field of the protection of senior rights across Europe. All the contributions to the conference – the ones from the politicians as well as those from civil society organisations – will be published by the Slovenian Union of Pensioners, ZDUS, so that also others can benefit from them.

An International Seminar in Izola on the topic “Dementia” had been preceded the Ljubljana Conference. It was attended by both the President of EURAG, Mr Dirk Jarré, and the Director of the EURAG Memory Training Centre, Mrs Dana Steinova, as well as by other distinguished guests.

We believe that the objectives and the conclusions of the 2016 Spring Conference and the GC meeting in Ljubljana carry strong messages and will help politicians, senior organisations as well as individuals in their daily fight for the improvement of the life situation of older persons in our society.

The members of the Slovenian Union of Pensioners, as the host of these international meetings, offered a most generous hospitality and showed a very elaborate organization of these events. They deserve high appreciation for their dedication, hospitality and the contents of the meetings. All participants were leaving the country with the best impressions.

Miloslav Vajs – EURAG vice-president