International Day of Older Persons 2012: We should act now to ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for all generations

PRESS RELEASE                                                                            
Brussels, 28 September 2012

 

International Day of Older Persons 2012: "Longevity: Shaping the Future"

We should act now to ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for all generations

 

“In the present situation, the European Union can no longer afford to waste its human capital. Joining forces and resources at all levels and providing to all generations the means to play an active part in society are keys to address Europe’s greatest challenge for the next decade”, declares Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE Platform Europe, on the eve of the International Day of Older Persons on 1st October.

 

The European Union is going through its most serious crisis since the beginning of its existence. The current economic crisis is aggravating the social and economic impact of demographic ageing in Europe.  Social inequalities are rising and vulnerable people, in particular older women and very old and dependent people, are most severely hit across the EU. Although older people’s living conditions may vary from country to country, many report major difficulties in fulfilling their basic needs, such as heating, healthy eating and accessing essential services such as health care. This situation is expected to further deteriorate unless concrete, innovative, integrated and multi-level action is taken to build new sustainable and fair social and economic models in a near future.  

Creating new opportunities for decision-makers and stakeholders at all levels to meet, exchange, discuss and coordinate actions is therefore needed to mobilize and use all resources available and find new ways of turning the current ageing of the population into an opportunity for all generations.

AGE is running a campaign for the creation of a European Union for all ages through the promotion of age-friendly environments based on the WHO global programme and adapted to the EU context. Those environments presuppose the adoption of a holistic and coordinated approach of ageing, requiring measures in many different areas such as housing, built environment, transport, health and long-term care, employment, education, ICT, etc. 

For that reason, AGE is calling on the European Commission to create the necessary political framework to support the setting up of age-friendly environments at national, regional and local level through the launch of a European Covenant of Mayors on demographic change, similar to the existing Covenant on climate change.

As a contribution to the European Year 2012 on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012) and ahead of the European Year 2013 of Citizens and the upcoming EU Parliament elections, AGE is launching a new publication aimed to better inform senior citizens of the existing EU tools of interest to them and to facilitate their involvement in the EU policy making process. This publication entitled ‘Active Senior Citizens for Europe: A Guide to the European Union’, which will be available in English and French, in both electronic and printed versions, will be presented at the third AGE-CoR thematic seminar on ‘Creating an age-friendly European Union’ to be held on 20 November 2012 in Brussels.

Ensuring a sustainable and inclusive future for all generations should go along with measures to guarantee people can age in dignity. This is why AGE Platform Europe developed with 18 partners, 12 national coalitions and an EU coalition, a European Quality Framework for Long-term care services within the WeDO project. This framework will be officially launched at WeDO’s final conference on 14 November 2012 in Brussels at the European Parliament.

 

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Useful links:

 

Press release in pdf format

Communiqué de presse en français

Friday 28 September 2012
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