Using the opportunity of the launch of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing end of 2010, AGE highlighted in its Steering Group that the EIP AHA should seek to promote a holistic vision of active and healthy ageing as being "the process of optimizing opportunities for physical, social and mental health to enable older people to take an active part in society without discrimination and to enjoy an independent and good quality of life". This means that the EIP AHA should not focus exclusively on the purely “medical” dimension of ageing but should also seek to support the development of non-medical innovative solutions to support the active participation of the 50+ in society, i.e. in employment, in their communities and at home. Creating an age friendly environment is key to the success of the EIP AHA. This is why AGE suggested that the EIP AHA should help mobilize local and regional authorities to create an EU network of age friendly cities/regions using WHO age-friendly cities programme and tools and the EIP AHA funding instruments.
Our call was heard by the European Commission and supported by the Steering Group. This is how Action Group D4 was created to bring together all stakeholders interested to work together on the promotion of age-friendly environments.
In 2013, together with a large consortium of stakeholders representing regions, cities, research centres and civil society organisations, AGE applied for funding under a call for the setting up of an EU thematic network on age-friendly environments and the launch of EU Covenant of mayors and regions on Demographic Change. Our project called AFE-INNOVNET (for age-friendly environments innovation network) was selected for funding by the EC and has started on 1 February 2014. The project seeks to open up soon to new stakeholders. More information will be available soon on the project own website and our webpage on AGE involvement in projects.