International conference presents future EU research topics on demographic change

MoreYearsBetterLives_logoThe 3rd International Conference of the Joint Programming Initiative More Years Better Lives (JPI MYBL) took place in Brussels on 13 February on the theme: 'Increasing the Knowledge Base on Demographic Change'. The JPI MYBL supports research on demographic change through joint calls for proposals on the most urgent and demanding challenges defined in the strategic research agenda 2018.

Heidrun@JPIconf_Feb2018Dr. Heidrun Mollenkopf, Vice President of AGE Platform Europe, Board Member of the German organisation BAGSO and Chair of the societal advisory board of the JPI MYBL, presented the future work of the JPI MYBL and the following 8 topics that will be used for the calls:

  1. Public attitudes to ageing
  2. Policies and strategies which ensure engagement of older people
  3. Changing intergenerational relations and policies
  4. The relationship between paid and unpaid work
  5. Ways of integrating public policy
  6. Measuring wellbeing for older people
  7. The role of migration in demographic change
  8. The experience of the oldest old.

In an interview for the JPI’s newsletters, Dr. Mollenkopf talks about the challenges of demographic change and the role of JPI MYBL in taking up some of these issues. According to her, reorganising urban spaces and societies is the key to coping with demographic change and the ageing society. To date, however, few cities have started planning for the future. It is now high time to do so. ‘What you do to the benefit of today’s older people will be to the benefit of the older people of tomorrow and to all generations’, said AGE Vice-President. Read the full interview with Dr. Mollenkopf here

Dr. Ritu Sandana, senior health advisor on ageing and life course, represented the World Health Organization (WHO) at the JPI conference. Dr Sandana co-wrote the world report on ageing and health in 2015 and currently coordinates WHO’s work on fostering national commitment and strategies, as well as metrics, monitoring and research on healthy ageing. In her speech, she reminded people about the importance of improving the environment in order to increase healthy live year expectancy, hence the key role of age-friendly cities. She however deplored the fact that the 500 cities part of the age-friendly cities and communities are mostly located in high income countries.

Dr Sandana further referred to the publication of WHO’s first guidelines on integrated care - available here - and to WHO’s survey on “how should research questions be assessed”. According the survey participants, the research topics, which are most of the time being chosen based on local politics and context, should:

  • improve healthy ageing  (35% of the respondents)
  • be applicable (20%)
  • be feasible (15%)
  • be answerable (15%)
  • improve equity (15%)

For more information on this conference, please contact Nhu Tram, AGE Project Officer:


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