October 2013 EU Policy Developments 2 Special Briefing 5
Other news 7 News about AGE 10 Publications 14 Call for Proposals 15
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Update on the European Year of Citizens 2013 (EYC2013)
Launch of the Active Senior Citizens for Europe (ASCE) project, coordinated by AGE
Although older citizens usually have a positive attitude toward the European Union, few of them are fully aware of what the EU is doing to translate our shared values into concrete outcomes for EU citizens, what EU competences are and how EU policies impact their daily life. Even fewer know how to engage in a constructive dialogue with the EU institutions to help shape the EU political agenda. The current crisis and language barriers create additional challenges for seniors to become fully involved in EU civil dialogue.
Started in September and in the framework of the European Year 2013, the Active Senior Citizens for Europe project aims at fostering a greater ownership of the EU among older citizens in 8 Member States by giving them the opportunity to learn more about the EU and to interact with EU policy makers in order to achieve a more age-friendly EU. The project will develop training material based on the brochure ‘Active Citizens for Europe: A guide to the EU that provides an overview of EU action relevant for older citizens and will organise series of meetings at EU and national levels to share this knowledge and foster discussions on EU policies and initiatives between civil society organisations coming from different EU countries. It will enable wider groups of seniors to develop a greater sense of ownership to the EU and get involved in the preparation of the upcoming European Parliament elections.
The first European Workshop took place on 15-17 October 2013 in Brussels, just before AGE’s Council of Administration. Participants were given training on EU primary law, EU institutions, policy processes and policies relevant for older people. They were also trained on campaigning, in order to get prepared for the upcoming EU elections, and had the opportunity to visit the EU Parliamentarium. A common session was held on
the draft Manifesto for the European Parliament elections prepared by AGE staff, and ASCE project partners had the opportunity to share their ideas related to the campaigning training session. After this European training, ASCE project partners and other interested AGE members will organize national training and information workshops related to the European Union and the preparation of the EU elections. The training materials will be translated in all project partners’ languages and disseminated widely at national level, following the ‘train the trainer’ approach. A second European Workshop is foreseen after the European Parliament elections in June 2014, followed by a second series of national workshops. A final conference will be organized in November/December 2014.
For more information: see the ASCE project webpage or contact ASCE project team: Maude Luherne, ASCE project coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org / Ophélie Durand, EP Liaison and project officer, Ophelie.email@example.com / Alice Sinigaglia, Campaigns officer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
European citizens' initiative: Let Me Vote
The European Citizens’ Initiative Let Me Vote! aims to bring the citizens closer to the political processes by extending the current political rights of the European citizens. The idea is to enable all citizens to participate in all elections in their country of residence, including regional and national ones. Let Me Vote! needs to collect one million signatures in a minimum of 7 countries. Further information on www.letmevote.eu/en/ Contact: email@example.com
The European Commission has announced the winners of the second edition of the intergenerational project generations @ school 2013, which celebrates the European Year of Citizens 2013. Teachers, pupils and older people were invited to organise intergenerational discussions about Europe, its past, its present and what old and young citizens can do together to build the Europe of tomorrow while also gaining a better understanding of each other. Over 300 schools from all over Europe entered the 2013 competition, sharing their activities with text, photos and videos on the project website. The most outstanding generations @ school activities have been awarded in three categories. Discover the winners on the award’s website
Senior Citizens and Europe: actors and partners of Europe
Aware of the importance for seniors to be actively involved in the EU processes, and in particular in the upcoming European elections, several French associations have jointly launched a blog aimed at better informing citizens about the reality of the European Union and mobilize them around the EP elections in 2014: http://seniorscitoyenseurope.blogspot.fr
Conclusions of EU Summit:
Heads of Sates and Government met together on 24-25 October and their discussions were focused on the digital development of the EU in order to boost growth, the fight against unemployment, in particular among young people. Other issues covered the economic policy coordination, the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union and the Banking Union.
The conclusions of the EU Summit can be downloaded here:
www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/139197.pdf Approval of SPC report on the development of social protection policies
The last Employment and Social Affairs Council approved the conclusions of the Social Protection Committee report on the development of social protection policies in the EU between January 2012 and June 2013.
This report reviews the reforms carried out recently in EU countries in the areas of social inclusion, fight against poverty, Roma inclusion, pension and health care.
The main message of the report is that while the economic crisis continues to put pressure on social protection systems, EU priorities in this field must shift from tackling its consequences towards building more resilient and effective social protection systems which rely on solid structures, adequate benefits and sustainable financing.
To download the report: http://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=10976&langId=en
Agreement on the European globalisation adjustment fund
The European globalisation adjustment fund (EGF) aims to support workers who lose their jobs and self-employed people whose activity has ceased. It facilitates their re-integration into employment in areas, sectors, territories or labour markets suffering the shock of serious economic disruption. The EGF should be operational from 1 January 2014 and will run for the next budget period (2014-2020).
New elements have been added to the Fund, that have been agreed with the Parliament and the Commission, such as the eligible beneficiaries which include in particular disadvantaged beneficiaries, namely young and older unemployed persons and those at risk of poverty, since those groups experience particular problems in re-entering employment due to the crisis and globalization.
www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/lsa/138991.pdf European Parliament