Europe 2020: need for Action Plan on Active ageing
PRESS RELEASE, Brussels, 4 March 2010
The poverty reduction and full employment targets are more than welcome but we need an Action Plan on Active ageing to address the challenge of demographic change
In its proposal launched yesterday, the European Commission finally decided to follow social NGOs advice to introduce a stronger social dimension in their Europe 2020 Strategy which is defining the broad lines of the work priorities of the European Union for the coming decade.
“We welcome the target to reduce the number of people who are at risk of poverty by 20 million and to reach an employment rate of 75% by 2020, but when the European Council and Member States prepare the detailed parameters of the strategy, we strongly recommend that they translate these objectives into concrete targets broken down by age group and gender. This is crucial to promote “growth for all” and to ensure that the most vulnerable - children, youth and older people are not left behind”, said Anne-Sophie Parent, Director of AGE Platform Europe.
“The Commission makes quite innovative proposals under the Inclusive Growth objective, including a European Platform against poverty. We now count on Member States and the European Parliament to add some flesh to these bones and agree a concrete set of detailled parameters, guidelines and national targets to ensure that everyone will benefit from this new strategy, including the most vulnerable”, added Ms Parent.
The first task of this Platform should be to develop a European Action Plan against poverty and inequalities which should guide the Open Method of Coordination on Social Protection and Social Inclusion in the coming decade to ensure that it delivers concrete results by 2020.
Given that demographic change is a huge challenge for the EU and Member States, AGE strongly believes that there is a real need for a n Action Plan on Active Ageing under the Inclusive Growth objective to coordinate all initiatives and policy measures linked to demographic ageing and promote the activation of the growing number of citizens aged 50+.