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.
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It is time older people co-shaped silver economy

Silver Economy, Silver Market, Silver Knowledge? Upon the initiative of a retired professor of economics, currently a student of Slovenian U3A, was held at this university a symposium on silver economy. Devoted to network thinking about a topic which is seemingly new, the symposium was attended by participants from diverse backgrounds.

Silver economy is both a new and old topic in the focus of Slovenian Third Age University. Why? Due to ageing society, silver market is predicted to amount up to 5% of the GDP by 2060, so one should better understand what silver economy is all about.

Towards a definition of silver economy

Taking into account their purchasing power and their number (in 2050, in OECD countries their share is expected to be 25 % of the population), older people constitute a potentially important market. Moreover, there is a chance that in the future, silver market becomes one of the most important markets. There will be many investment possibilities for innovating companies and many other companies active in various areas. Far from being a separated sector, silver economy encompasses a number of activities transversally reaching out to the whole production and consumption sector. It is oriented towards both production and distribution of goods and services, meeting the needs of older people. In addition to this, it is about preparing younger generations and their future well being[1]

To get aware of the orientation of the emerging silver economy one does not need to go further than the French Contract on Silver Economy agreed on December the 12th 2013 It says: “Silver economy is about commodities and services that can be conceived in sectors like: accommodation, communication, transport, e-autonomy, safety, health, individual services, distribution (adaptation of packaging etc.), leisure time, work (teleworking), tourism. What about other sectors?

French government defined silver economy as commercial and manufacturing activities of benefit to older people, ameliorating their social participation, improving the quality of their life and well-being, slowing down the loss of autonomy and increasing life expectancy.

Announcement: NECE 2016, a conference in the Danubian region tackles the important issues of migrations, civic education and the future of Europe

NECE 2016 – Networking European Citizenship Education – Conference
“Crossing Borders. Migration and Citizenship Education in Europe”
10-12 November 2016, Zagreb, Croatia (Lisinski Concert Hall)

Against the background of a global refugee crisis deeply affecting the state of the European Union and its neighbours, NECE 2016 will aim at two areas: Firstly, we will look at the ongoing European response to the issue of migration including the divisions within and between European societies. Secondly the conference will discuss how citizenship education should react to the polarised debate and the controversies about migration, diversity and identity which have been triggered by the new wave of migration since summer 2015. There is a clear danger that the “migrants’ revolution” will radically change European politics and the world view of many on the continent towards exclusion and closure. The refugee crisis seems to re-open the gap between the East and the West in Europe and between those who see cosmopolitan values as a threat and those who are struggling to defend these as the core of a new European identity (Ivan Krastev).

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Inspirational practice

Take tools in Hands«

(fr. Outils en mains) develops manual skills and keeps crafts alive. It also unites generations. Would you know retired craftsmen in the Danube region who would be ready and proud to transfer their knowledge onto young generations? Young people do not know that hats or shoes, or bread can be made with  their own hands, that linen can be woven at home. On the other hand qualified craftsman work is ever more needed, particularly in the industries of luxury.

6th Danube eRegion Conference – DeRC 2016: Cross-border eSolutions & eServices Prototypes Development

 Your are kindly invited to the 6th eRegions Conference 2016: Cross-border eSolutions & eServices Prototypes Development, Monday-Tuesday, September 19-20, 2016,

Location: Castle Jable, Grajska cesta 1, 1234 Mengeš, Slovenia. One of the panels will be about Silvery Economy and co-chaired by Prof. Ana Krajnc ( Slovenia) and Prof. Francois Vellas (France).

In addition, in the coming days, in June 2016 a national symposium will be held on the same topic at Slovenian Third Age University focusing on the older people’s contributory role within silver economy Active ageing in relation to silver econnomy will be in focus. More: http://eregion.eu/conferences/derc-2016/derc-2016-program/

Personal report from Dusana Findeisen: Danube Networkers for Europe (DANET) As Social Capital Changing Older People’s Social Engagement and Integration Along the Danube , EURAG Conference

The topic of this conference are organisations and their social effectivness

(1) Why organisations of older people, for older people or mixed organisations are needed? Do they produce social changes?

Why these organisations are needed and do they make a difference?

Well, they do make a difference in the lives of individual older people and the lives of their family members, they do make a difference in local communities. Our empirical research studies have shown it. But do our organisations change society?

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Slovenian Third Age University And DANET at the 10th Bled Strategic Forum


Education for financial literacy is needed. Older people should be freed of dependency discourse. The need for a UN Convention on Older Persons’ rights

At the 10th Bled strategic forum Dušana Findeisen from Slovenian Third Age University and vice president of DANET, moderated the panel Ageing Society and Development: Is progress without change possible? The discussion of the panellists was largely directed towards what is DANET’s mission: social participation of older people, their contribution to social and economic development, dialogue and cooperation of generations as well as global cross-cultural dialogue. It goes without saying that the panellists were willing to consider also the issues of older adult education, art and intergenerational learning enabling the contributory role of older people.

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International meeting in July 2016 in Ulm

It is intended to make known the results of all these activities on the International Conference “Tastes of Danube- Let’s taste it” which will take place in Ulm the 8th of July 2016 in the frame of the 10th International Danube Festival Ulm/Neu-Ulm. This Conference will be connected with the public action “Danube-Breakfast. Share your bread with Danube-Neighbours” the 10th of July in the morning on the Herdbrьcke (bridge) which connects Ulm and Neu-Ulm, .by the Danube!

Save the date! Representatives of all active project groups will be invited to take part! For representatives of groups especially active in this project there will be stipendiums!

Slovenian Third Age University Goes Danubian

A message from Slovenia

Associations Like DANET Are  Social Investment

Including And Engaging Older People And Other Generations

The Ljubljana EURAG Conference Is Approaching

Two days ago at Slovenian Third Age University took place They are us. (slov. Oni smo mi), a  round table on migrants and migrations. The round table was about migrants and how they are welcomed  but as a matter of fact,  it was also about  older people since  it was focused on inclusion, integration, social engagement and their impact on societies. Migrants or older people need to be included. But not one by one…What is needed are systems and organisations.

Based in Ulm, DANET (http://danube-networkers.eu/ ) is a European association and a network of  organisastions for learning in later life,  social participation and intergenerational dialogue along the Danube. It is in itself  social investment creating bridges among different cultures, organisations, institutions, among generations and older people themselves. To put it differently it is in itself social capital or social investmet bringing together older people and professionals’ knowledge, skills, experience and culture.

I am going to introduce DANET at the EURAG Conference  that will be held in my hometown Ljubljana from 6.-8.  May, the conference being devoted to the role of organisations of and for older people or mixed organisations and and their impact on society. Such organisations are what sociologists call. social capital. Without them human and cultural capital would be lost, societies would be less effective.

Currently the term social capital is being widely used by sociologists and other professionals, though for a long time it was burdened with economic connotations. But social capital is nothing really new. It is like old wine in  a new bottle. (Field, 2008 ). The central thesis of social capital  can be summarised: relationships matter and relationships transform the actors and transform society.

In my contribution to the EURAG conference I will be introducing DANET, its political and pragmatic role in the countries along the Danube. I will be touching upon its past and its current experience uniting  older people (notwithstanding the level of their formal education and their social background) and their communities.


Dušana Findeisen



The 2016 DANET Board Meeting was in Belgrade at the confluent of two rivers: the Danube and the Sava river

Belgrade 22nd– 23rd April 2916

Prof. Mariella Nankova, Prof. Tihomir Žiljak, Carmen Stadelhofer during the DANET Board meeting
Prof. Mariella Nankova, Prof. Tihomir Žiljak, Carmen Stadelhofer during the DANET Board meeting

Members of the DANET – board (Carmen Stadelhofer, Germany; Dusana Findeisen, Slovenia; Ana Zlibut, Romania; Tihomir Ziljak, Croatia; Emiliya Velikova and Mariella Nankova, Bulgaria) met in the „Institute for the Study of Cultural Development“ in Belgrade ( Marina Lukic Cvetic ,directoress, and Dejan Zagorac researcher).  The DANET board members were supported by Lidija Jevremovic, National Foundation for Human Aging Dr. Laza Lazarevic. The DANET Board members started by reporting on the work done in Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Germany and Slovenia over the last months. Their report was on the institutions visited, decisions makers approached, events launched and the results obtained in each country. The progress report on the project Tastes of the Danube (DANET and ILEU) was presented. Plans for the coming  projects Breakfast on the Danube and Bread on Tour were elaborated. The Board members were invited to Heinrich Boel Foundation in Belgrade to present and promote DANET. There was also a friendly evening, a warm meeting of Danubian friends sharing a lot: common goals, information, knowledge, common and particular culture as well. The evening was organised for the DANET Board members, local partner institutions and a group of interested older people from Germany. Tamara, an archaeologist presented excavations near Vinca where bread from the 12th century was found which is a rare example of gastronomy-heritology.

02 Carmen Stadelhofer introducing the friendly evening

Carmen Stadelhofer introducing the friendly evening

Dušana Findeisen, Slovenian Third Age University