MAY 2004

GREEN Party MEP Jean Lambert has been praised by AGE, the European Older People's Platform, for advancing the cause of older people in the European Union and helping to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most.

It is estimated that by 2007, the oldest group of workers (the 55-65 year olds) will outnumber the youngest (16-25 year olds) for the first time. However age prejudice continues - a disgraceful one in three pensioners in London live in poverty.

Anne-Sophie Parent, Director of AGE in her support for the London MEP stated:

" Jean Lambert has actively facilitated civil dialogue between policy-makers and European NGOs. This was demonstrated through her commitment to AGE's campaign when she called for a wide reaching directive to combat age discrimination in all areas of life. She also played a major role in promoting the visibility of age issues in the Equality coalition, an alliance of organisations campaigning for the introduction of Article 13 and other non-discrimination clauses in the EU Constitution."

She added:

"Many European countries show a distinct lack of political will in implementing directives on age that would help to tackle the most basic human rights issues for older people. So far, only three European countries have transposed the European directive into their own legislation. The UK is not among them. By working together we have tried to prevent any 'rolling back on equality'."

Jean Lambert, who is the Co President of the European Parliament Inter-group on Ageing, said: “Over the past five years, I have worked with age related organisations in calling for a higher state pension and an end to pensioners' poverty. I am delighted to have received these kind words from AGE, an organisation that has been so instrumental in combating discrimination and social exclusion. "

In the European Parliament Jean Lambert recently highlighted the lack of sufficient funds available to guarantee an accessible and quality health care system for the elderly. In a Parliamentary debate she stated "This 'care apartheid' robs a whole generation of its dignity and reveals the shameful truth of the Government's true attitude to the elderly."

Jean has also secured Parliament's support for a clause making it illegal for employers to decide redundancies on grounds of age. Jean's support for the gender discrimination directive was an important step for older women's rights, in particular in access to pension funds.

Further information about AGE can be found at http://www.age-platform.org