A comprehensive EU strategy would help turn population ageing into an opportunity for economic and social growth in Europe

European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing

Brussels, 9th March 2015

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How to turn the demographic change into an opportunity for Europe through technology, innovation and new ways of cooperation is the theme of the European Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing on 9-10 March 2015. As an associate partner of this key event, AGE wishes to seize the opportunity of this summit to kick off a debate on the importance of developing a European Strategy on demographic change which would coordinate EU action in various areas to ensure synergies and maximize their positive impact on Europe’s citizens, economy and job creation.

With the major economic, financial and institutional changes in recent years, the European Union together with the Member States have a window of opportunity to seize the potential of population ageing with the aim of enhancing economic growth, supporting greater social justice and cohesion and strengthening the rights and responsibilities of all generations. Nonetheless, in order to reach this objective, more coordination is needed between the different actors and levels, as well as a better mobilization of the wide range of sectors concerned.

“A comprehensive EU strategy on Demographic Change would enable the integration and coordination of EU policies in all relevant sectors in order to support the creation of age-friendly environments, which is, according to AGE’s members, the most appropriate and sustainable response to ageing demography in Europe”, highlights Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Platform Europe Secretary-General.

As part of this EU strategy, AGE is working on the setting up of a European Covenant on Demographic Change through its involvement in the Action Group D4 of the European Innovation partnership for Active and Healthy (EIP AHA) devoted to age-friendly environments. This Covenant will create the necessary political and technical framework to bring together local and regional authorities and other stakeholders across the EU who want to find smart and innovative evidence based solutions and to facilitate the creation of a EU repository.

In relation to age-friendly environments, AGE seeks to bridge EU action with what is being done at global level by the Word Health Organization (WHO) in the frame of its programme on age-friendly cities. This is the purpose of the AFE-INNOVNET project, which has set up a large EU wide community of local and regional authorities and other relevant stakeholders across the EU willing to join forces to support active and healthy ageing, using the relevant EU policies and funding instruments. This movement will ultimately become the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities programme for the EU.

AGE has recently become an institutional affiliate of the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. This acknowledges WHO and AGE cooperation in the promotion of a holistic and inclusive approach of population ageing at European and global levels.

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