2012: a first step towards a truly age-friendly European Union

PRESS RELEASE                                                                            
Brussels, 5 December 2012


European Year 2012 Closing Conference, Cyprus, 10 December 212


2012: a first step towards a truly age-friendly European Union


“We are very satisfied with the large mobilisation around the European Year 2012 (EY2012)”, declares Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary-General. “The EY2012 has clearly highlighted the need to rethink our economic and social policy framework in order to meet the needs of the growing number of older people while enhancing solidarity between generations. We hope that the numerous actions and commitments made during the Year will lay the first milestone towards a European society for all ages.”

The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 has been a key opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities beyond the demographic change. The EY2012 Stakeholders Coalition, an informal group of more than 65 partners coordinated by AGE, has been actively campaigning for a better recognition of the contribution of older people in society and for the adoption of measures which enhance their participation, support independent living in old age and promote age diversity in all aspects of society. It has also helped mobilise a wide range of stakeholders on the need for a comprehensive approach involving actors in many different areas and at all levels.

As the recent Eurobarometer on discrimination in the EU in 2012 reveals, old age is seen a common ground of discrimination by a majority of Europeans, in particular in access to employment (aggravated in times of crisis) and to goods and services. The EY2012 Coalition has been campaigning for the creation of age-friendly environments to support the active contribution of all generations to society, according to their capacities, and allow everyone to develop their full potential. Adapting our environments to our ageing population is essential to avoid wasting our human capital and turn the current demographic ageing into an opportunity for all generations. This requires coordinated governance between the EU, national, regional and local levels around a same vision of a society for all ages.

To reach our goal, AGE and the EY2012 Coalition, call on the EU to set up an EU Covenant on Demographic Change to provide the necessary political framework to bring together local and regional authorities who want to find smart and innovative solutions to support active and healthy ageing. “The proposed Covenant will facilitate the creation of a large scale movement to adapt our environments and communities to the need of our ageing population and demographic changes”, stresses Anne-Sophie Parent.

Now that the European Year is officially coming to an end, the campaign for an EU Covenant on Demographic Change will be carried on using the momentum of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA). On the framework of this Partnership, AGE, EY2012 Coalition Members and an increasing group of partners have committed to keeping on running the campaign to convince the European Commission to launch the proposed Covenant. AGE has also committed to setting up and moderating an EU virtual forum on Age-Friendly Environments (AFE) to link stakeholders (public authorities, NGOs, service providers, industry, researchers) interested in the promotion of AFE at local, regional, national and EU level. This confirms that EY2012 has not just been an awareness raising initiative. The work we have started in 2012 will continue in the years to come with all the interested parties who got mobilized during the EY2012.



Useful links:

Press release in pdf format

Communiqué de presse en français

Friday 07 December 2012
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