Friday, 17 April 2020

ETUC-FERPA letter signed by Luca Visentini and Agostino Siciliano sent to the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament

Dear Colleagues,
Please find attached a copy of the joint ETUC-FERPA letter signed by Luca Visentini and Agostino Siciliano which was sent this morning to the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament in order to draw their attention to the particularly difficult situation currently experienced by the elderly and retired people.
Fraternal greetings.


Jessica Montiel
Project Coordinator
PA to the General Secretary of FERPA
European Federation of Retired and Elderly People
Fédération Européenne des Retraités et des Personnes Agées
Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 5,
B-1210 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 2 224 0442 Fax: +32 2 224 0567
Visit our website :

From: General Secretary <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 1:52 PM
Cc: Siciliano, Agostino <>; MONTIEL, Jessica <JMONTIEL@ETUC.ORG>;
Subject: ETUC-FERPA Joint Letter

Dear President von der Leyen,
Dear President Sassoli,

We welcome the emergency measures that the European Commission has recently adopted.  The economic resources allocated to ensure the appropriate functioning of health systems in the fight against Covid-19 and to support businesses, protect workers from unemployment and loss of income in this delicate period, are clearly needed.  Trade Unions are now putting pressure on their governments to avail of such emergency measures without delay.

However, more specific and targeted health and economic measures are urgently needed to contain and stop the spread of the virus and to better manage the health, economic and employment effects of this unprecedented pandemic.

Covid-19 is infecting thousands of people across Europe and throughout the world.  However, the ones paying the highest price, often with their life, are citizens over the age of 70.  They are more prone to be infected and to die as a result of contracting this virus.  The more vulnerable being  the over-80s who are already affected by other diseases.

We recognise the severity of this health emergency and acknowledge the great commitment of doctors, nurses and all health personnel who are in the front line to treat and save lives.  However, at this stage we believe it is essential that you intervene with the governments of individual countries so that the elderly, especially those with disabilities, in fragile conditions and those living alone, are given special attention and targeted health care.

In particular we would like to bring to your attention the delicate circumstances in which the elderly people residing in old people's homes and long-term care facilities are finding themselves in.  The situation is becoming dramatic in many European countries due to several outbreaks of the virus in such facilities, the staff of which are often not adequately protected.
Additionally, social assistance is needed to prevent older people from feeling lonelier, discriminated and abandoned as a result of the restrictive mobility and social relations measures implemented by governments to prevent the spread of this contagious virus.

We hope that solidarity between European countries and between generations will be strengthened because it is only by standing together that we can defeat this terrible coronavirus.  We are counting on your intervention to defend of the health of all European citizens and in particular of the elderly, who are the most vulnerable people.  They are the generation that contributed to build the European Union and they are the ones that are now paying too high price with too many deaths.

Yours sincerely,

Luca Visentini                                               Agostino Siciliano
ETUC General Secretary                             FERPA General Secretary

Luca Visentini - General Secretary
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European Trade Union Confederation
Confédération Européenne des Syndicats
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