The Project

Introduction

Led by Enfieldís Over 50s Forum, this project brings together older people from Enfield (UK), Courbevoie (France), Halandri (Greece) and Gladbeck (Germany) to create links, share knowledge and develop political influence to improve the services for older people across Europe.  The project was initiated by and is led by the twin town citizens. 

Citizen Steering Groups

Each twin town has a citizen steering group responsible for overseeing and implementing the project.  The local steering groups include older citizens, a local authority representative and an academic.  The local authority officer supports the group and ensures that the projectís findings are fed back into local government.  The academic specialises in senior citizen issues and therefore ensures that the projectís findings are appropriately documented and assists the Steering Group with academic-related work. 

The first task of each citizen steering group has been to create an 'Over 50s Profile' for their respective towns to provide an informed overview of older people service provision amongst the partners.  These profiles are available elsewhere on this website.

Conferences & Seminars

An Over 50s network does not exist between the twin towns, therefore this project is creating those links between citizens through a series of conferences and seminars in Europe between 2010-2012.  During these conferences, the citizens will identify shared problems and possible solutions, areas for development and examples of good practice. The outcomes will be documented on this site.

There are 3 events which are funded by the EU citizen's proramme. 

Event 1 - Courbevoie, Paris

The first event took place in Courbevoie, Paris where the 24 participants (Citizen Steering Groups) met for the first time.  We learned about each othersí towns and their provisions for older people.  The themes and subject areas which we want to see addressed at the projectís main event in Strasbourg, France, were considered and will form the basis for the conference programme and the invited speakers.  The first event was spread over 3 days and took place in October 2010. The report on the conference can be read here.

Event 2 - European Parliament, Strasbourg

The projectís main conference was held at the MISHA postgraduate university in Strasbourg in September 2011 and included  a visit to the EU Parliament there.  Taking place over 4 days participants (including the Citizen Steering Groups) from the twin towns discussed the themes and challenges identified in Courbevoie.  Together with older people specialists from across Europe we discussed how we can improve services in our own countries. At the Parliament we met with a number of MEPs and considered how the MEPs might assist in supporting older people.  The conference details and programme can be found elsewhere on this web site.

Event 3 - Enfield, London

The final conference of the EU funded project was spread over 3 days with almost a 100 participants and hosted by Over 50s Forum in Enfield in March 2012.   Here the international delegation met with a large number of Forum members to discuss the outcomes and initiatives from the Strasbourg conference. It also afforded the opportunity to consider how an EU Twin Town Over 50s Network will continue after the end of the EU funding. The conference report can be found here.

European Declaration of Human Rights for Older People

Throughout the conferences between 2010-2012, a series of shared aims and objectives will be identified by the participants.  These will seek to promote a 'European Declaration for Over 50s Rights' which the group will use to lobby local, national and European governments to improve the services and opportunities for the older people of Europe.  

EU Twin Town Over 50s Network

This network will be the outcome of our project and become a resource for the citizens of the 4 twin towns.  The network will provide an ongoing opportunity  lobbying governments for improved services for older people within Europe. It will also seek to endorse and promote the rights of older people in Europe. 

The network is not reliant on local authorities, but rather on citizen partnerships and friendships created throughout the 2 year project.  The network will seek to meet annually, rotating location amongst the twin towns. Regular newsletters and updates on this website will also keep citizens updated.