Innovation partnership on active ageing goes live next year
By Tamás Kugyela | Tuesday 08 November 2011
Prevention, care and cure, independent living: these are the three main areas a pilot project on ‘active and healthy ageing’ sees as being crucial to extending healthy and active life in Europe by two years until 2020. The Steering Group of this first initiative of the ‘Europe 2020’ flagship initiative Innovation Union to concentrate Community resources on major societal challenges (see Europolitics4269) agreed on a series of joint actions, on 7 November.
To reach a two-year extension of active and healthy life, the project wishes to enhance early diagnosis methods; remote monitoring; independent living solutions enabled by information technology; the construction of age-friendly environments; as well as health literacy and personalised health management. The partnership’s Steering Group is made up of representatives of national governments, hospitals, companies and civil organisations.
The initiative has a cross-departmental approach with three commissioners overseeing it: Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda), John Dalli (health and consumer policy) and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (research, innovation and science). However, in its 6 October conclusions, the Council stressed the need “to preserve the nature of joint programming as a member states-led process”.
AGE Platform Europe, the network of organisations representing people above the age of 50 in the EU, welcomed the document, whose drafting they also contributed to. However, Secretary-General Anne-Sophie Parent also called for concrete steps to actively involve stakeholders: “in order to reach the ambitious objective set by the EU, measures are also needed to make sure that all actors on the ground at local, regional and national levels are mobilised”. The Commission will launch calls to further expand the range of participants next year.