Who are we?
ESO (European Senior Organisation) – PES-Seniors is the umbrella organization of socialist and social-democratic senior-organizations in Europe. ESO – PES seniors bring together representatives coming from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. We are a member from the European Social Democratic family and take part in activities as observer member. ESO is also a member organisation from AGE-Platform Europe, who is the largest, overall organisation for Seniors Rights in Europe.
ESO will improve the position of senior citizens in Europe, their access to fundamental rights, their participation in political decision processes. ESO is promoting intergenerational solidarity and will represent the interests of senior citizens and their organizations in the European governing bodies.
Lastly, we promote and safeguard the social, cultural and economic interests of senior citizens in Europe and strengthen senior citizens’ participation and active involvement in society. We also show active interest in the wellbeing of each individual regardless of age. The needs and rights of older people have to be on the European agenda: building towards an age friendly society, decent income for seniors, addressing the problem of housing and adapted housing, accessible and face to face services in the era of digitalization, the cost and quality of care and healthcare, the problem of ageism and discrimination and disrespect of human rights of older people.
To this end, ESO contribute to the public debate on ageing, inter-generational solidarity, consumer protection, social security and economic protection, housing, health-care, care and long term-care and communicates its position in the most effective way possible. We are participating very actively in the Party of European Socialists (PES), presence in the PES congress, the coordination of the PES and its working groups. We have contacts in the European institutions (European Parliament, Comity of the regions, European Economic and Social Comity and to the consultation-initiatives from the European Commission. We also participate very actively into the AGE-Europe- Platform.
We organize consultations and discussions with the representatives of our member organizations on a regular basis. That is where our views are taken and positions are determined. Twice a year we organize a seminar where we discuss in more detail the specific needs and problems that older people in Europe face and how we can contribute to solutions through a European policy.
We try to promote more attention spread to a number of national parties who no longer offers specific organisations or structures for their senior-members, so that senior citizens, also there too, would be more involved in political decision-making and action. Seniors are not only “volunteers” offering their help and support, but also as engaged citizens and militants, counting as active participants in decision and policymaking processes. Seniors are not only the testimonies from the past, but also actors in the present and co-creator in the future.
Although, within the PES network over 40% are older people, we, unfortunately, tend to experience in many member states and parties a low interest in rights of older people. Older members tend to be taken for granted by their parties, and are not viewed as group with specific needs and concerns and remain without recognition of their vast experience and resources. A state of mind we want to tackle as it perpetuates ageism and we are asking that seniors and their organizations should be treated on similar way as youngster, in party-structures and representations.
Our European social democratic family
ESO – PES-seniors is member into the European social democratic and socialist family, the PES. In the PES, ESO – PES-seniors are working together with the Young European Socialists – YES, PES-Women, Rainbowrose. We are participating in and supported by the Foundation for Progressive Studies – FEPS
We have also a strong link with the Socialdemocratic group S&D group, in the European Parliament, and the PES-group in the comity from the regions.