It is a great honour for me – as president of the European Federation of Older Persons, EURAG – to address you at the opening of this special event “Ageing is Fun” to celebrate E-Seniors’ 10th anniversary of existence.
Allow me to give a warm thank to all the French partners that made it possible, through their remarkable respective contributions, that this important event as well as the General Council meeting of EURAG can take place in this beautiful city.
We, the members of the European Federation of Older Persons, are very proud indeed that we have such a strong and active membership in France and we look forward to an ever more intensive and fruitful cooperation with our colleagues in this country for the benefit of older persons in European society.
EURAG – founded in 1962 and thus the oldest transnational organisation of senior citizens – is a non-profit and non- religious European organisation independent of any political parties. Its purpose is to promote the quality of life of older persons in society, at all social and political levels, advocating in particular:
- The maintenance of an independent, self-determined life
- Strengthening participation and integration in society
- The full development of their potential
- The promotion of self-help activities
- Improving older persons’ living situation
- Helping to conceive and design age-friendly products and services
- Promoting rights to receive care and in related decision-making
- The safeguarding of financial security and appropriate housing
- The representation of older persons’ interests in society at large
- The prevention of any kind of discrimination on grounds of age
EURAG especially promotes the co-ordination, collaboration and exchange of opinions by its members with expert and service organisations, self-help groups as well as with individuals possessing special expertise.
Even though there are other umbrella organisations for and of older persons in Europe representing the interests of older citizens, EURAG is quite special and enjoys a unique position. Not only is it the oldest and most extended umbrella organisation for older persons but it also prides with the following special characteristics:
- a culture of exchange (of people and information) and learning from each others knowledge,
- special experience and opinions on strategies promoting civil dialogue,
- a climate favouring discussion and dialogue as in a well functioning family, respecting each other and valuing each others position.
In defending the interests of older persons EURAG works together with a number of other European civil society organisations. EURAG is a member of AGE Europe since 2009, of the European Social Platform since 1998 and has participatory status with the Council of Europe as well as consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1984.
EURAG organises seminars, symposia and alike events in the different countries with the support of partner organisations in those countries.
EURAG’s strength resides in the fact that it is a flexible network operating with many volunteers who freely donate their time, knowledge and services to the objectives of the organisation.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
To finish with I cordially wish you all a lot of success in your today’s deliberations and in your future efforts to create a European society that fully respects human dignity of all, that offers adequate living conditions for all and that promotes independence, self-determination and societal participation – in particular for our older population.
SPEECH OF Dirk Jarré