Danet and EURAG will continue doing their best to keep older people’s issues in focus

Slovenian Federation of Societies of Pensioners hosted the annual EURAG conference in Ljubljana. The topic of the conference was very topical and timely. It was about organisations of older people and for older people and their effectiveness in society. Older people still suffer from socio-economic injustice (in Latvia they have a very low pension in Israel several million people are without any pension) and they suffer from injustice on the cultural and symbolic level (ageism). Nevertheless, in the times of recession and social transformation, older people’s issues and their cooperation with other generations are attracting less attention and our organisations have to be even more vigilant and active to keep focus on older people’s abilities and challenges. Not only older people experience social transformation and therefore EURAG’s (and our) focus is to be shifted towards life span ageing and life span approaches to ageing. Speakers at the conference underlined that older people are not (at least the majority of them) in the need of help. They have a lot to give and this should be made possible through policies and different organisations etc. EURAG particularly appreciates its bonds with Social Platform which is concerned with different social groups.

Representing DANET Dušana Findeisen said that organisations of older people, for older people have shown their value in the life of older people themselves, in the life of their families and even their community, but they do not trigger major social changes. What they can and have to aspire to is changing mentalities, co-shaping policies, creating opportunities, enabling older people to stay on the train and to get on a new train (not to be left behind) when economic growth reappears and digital revolution takes place. Moreover such organisations prepare older people to adapt to numerous social changes like rapid urbanisation, living with newcomers, robotisation, economy of proximity disappearing, work changing etc. Dušana Findeisen also presented DANET as political and professional organisation in the Danube region and three areas of its constant endeavors: older adult education, social participation, European Strategy for the Danube region. Possibilities of co-operation between EURAG and DANET were explored.