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Too Old to Vote

Too Old to Vote, Too Young to Die

There are staff committees at the different sites inside the EU and there is one for the people working in the delegations outside Europe. We need one more committee; one for the pensioners.

After all, they draw pensions which are negociated between Human Resources and Staff Representation.

Those who would argue that retired people need not be represented as their own, autonomous group are betraying a disrespectful attitude towards people who have often emigrated from their home countries and worked in Benelux for the EU Institutions over two, three, four decades.

They are implying that all we owe our older colleagues is the pension money, to be dumped into their accounts by standing order every thirty days or so, but that there is no need to listen to them, let alone to talk. If that attitude were to prevail, Europe would fail.

Most states require citizens to survive eighteen years before letting them vote, but setting an upper limit is quite unheard of. It is right for citizens to elect their representatives up to last moment of their lives. The same logic and ethics apply to staffers and their representatives.

It is hoped that this issue will be discussed in the light of fundamental rights, but pointing out some practical advantages can do no harm.

So far the only thing the billionaires and their politicians are doing about demographic change is to raise the pensionable age ever higher while millions of young Europeans are unemployed.

60+ people need to take part actively in society if it not to turn into a mausoleum.

Obviously, they must be involved in decisions that affect them. Organizing a Pensioners' Committee to participate in the Central Staff Committee alongside the Local and the Outside EU Staff Committees is a step forward.

It would do all of us much good to experiment with this "trans-generational staff representation" and then apply the lessons learned in practice to the laws on staff representation at EU and national level 1 , 2.

There will be lots to do once a pensioners' committee is formed.

• Defending pensions in a pro-active way will be urgent during the remainder of our century.

• Currently, staff looses its accident insurance on retirement. A Pensioners Committee would push for a more generous rule. Until that is achieved, it could try to organize a stop gap measure with a good price/performance ration, somewhat like 3

• Several Member States have been imposing double taxation on retired EU workers as discussed in 4 , 5. In the extreme, people have moved to the country of their second, or third choice in order to avoid double taxation. Imagine the anguish. A Pensioners Committee would help to coordinate resistance and put pressure on the EU Institutions to move beyond hot air in there support.

• Some pensioners cannot access the www for medical or technical reasons. A Pensioners' Committee would make sure that everyone can exercise all their rights and obligations via email if possible, via snail mail if necessary.

• There needs to be toll free phone numbers in the 27 Member States that help the retired find their way through our thriving jungle of rules and institutions.

• The existence and work of the Pensioners' Committee will provide a meeting point for them that can be extended into a new social network for the old. Remember; loneliness kills.

Created by: admin last modification: Sunday 14 of November, 2010 [09:42:37 UTC] by admin

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