Jean is a co-President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Ageing, a cross-party group which meets to discuss issues related to older people. She continues to campaign for the rights and well being of older people across the UK and to ensure that age discrimination in the work place and throughout society is eliminated.
“Everyone is entitled to fair treatment and equal rights regardless of their age. We have had laws in place guarding against discrimination through race and gender for many years and a directive combating ageism is long over due. It is time for ageism to be outlawed completely.”
Jean Lambert MEP
Jean has supported Heyday’s challenge of the Government’s plans for a mandatory retirement age. Jean believes any such proposal would contravene a European Directive outlawing age discrimination and would leave people over the age of 65 without the right to choose to continue working.
“To those over 50 years of age our society seems to be designed to benefit the youth without any support or need for the knowledge and skills of the more experienced, mature person. If we implement a Mandatory Retirement Age of 65 years people will simply be faced with a ‘dead end’ to their working lives and society will loose out on a wealth of knowledge and expertise only experience can provide.”
Jean Lambert MEP
Working with older people’s organisations
Jean works with a range of organisations, like AGE (the EU umbrella organisation for older peoples groups), to raise issues of conern for older people in the European Parliament, including age discrimination, and access to social and health care.
Jean welcomed Hackney Age Concern to the European Parliament to mark the launch of a new proposal for an EU Directive outlawing age discrimination in goods, facilities and services. Jean is continuing to fight for discrimination on the grounds of age to be included in this proposed anti-discrimination directive. Following on from the directive on age discrimination in employment, the new proposed directive, drawn up for and backed by Age UK, would outlaw all types of unjustified ageism in key areas such as health care, financial services and education.
As a patron of the human rights theatre group iceandfire, Jean helped raise age awareness by attending the launch of their new production ‘Getting On: true stories of growing old in 21st Century Britain‘. The play drew on the experiences of real people to give a voice to Britain’s older generations who have struggled to retain their identity and dignity in a youth-focused society.
Meeting the needs of older people
At the Green Party conference in September 2009, Jean hosted a meeting with professionals in the field looking at how to meet the needs of older people into the future. Representatives from Age Concern and Help the Aged, Brighton and Hove’s Older People’s Council and a respected academic from the Institute of Gerontology at Kings College London joined Jean on the panel. See below for a short video from the event.