Standardisation as a powerful tool to address population ageing and support age-friendly environments in Europe

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                         
Brussels, 11 June 2014

3rd European Standardisation Summit, 11 June 2014

Standardisation as a powerful tool to address population ageing and support age-friendly environments in Europe

“The demographic change is the opportunity for the European standardisation bodies to better address accessibility issues following the ‘Design for All’ principles and help ensure that our ageing population will receive the care and assistance they need to live in dignity”, points out Mr Ebbe Johansen, Vice-President of AGE Platform Europe, on the occasion of the third European Standardisation Summit in Istanbul on 11 June 2014.

By 2025 more than 20% of Europeans will be 65 or over, with a particularly rapid increase in the number of persons over 80. Given this scenario, creating environments that empower older people and people in need of care to take part in society for longer needs to become a priority for the standardisation bodies. Therefore, AGE welcomes the focus of this third European Standardisation Summit on ageing and the silver economy.

We believe that standardisation can be a powerful tool to support the adaptation of goods, services and environments to the needs of the ageing population. Standardisation can foster the development of designed for all goods and services, as well as age-friendly environments to accommodate the needs of older people in need of care and assistance. And we believe that the Mandate 473 to include accessibility in all relevant standardisation activities, as well as the Mandate 420 in support of European accessibility requirements for public procurement in the built environment are two important steps in that direction.

AGE also takes this opportunity to call on CEN-CENELEC to strongly involve societal stakeholders in this standardisation work, which would provide the perspective of the end-users and make sure that the standardisation work fits the purpose of the two mandates. The participation of societal stakeholders in standards development is essential to guarantee that the needs of users are taken into account in the standards development process. Older people wish and can deliver such first-hand experience to ensure that the voice of those affected by the standard is properly heard.

We hope that this European Standardisation Summit will be a further step towards a closer collaboration between the European standardisation bodies and AGE Platform Europe and towards an enhanced awareness of the role of standardisation in meeting the demographic challenge.

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Wednesday 11 June 2014
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