European Parliament assessment of the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012) echoes AGE recommendations and calls for further action at EU and national level to help the EU cope with its demographic challenge
AGE Platform Europe warmly welcomes the European Parliament’s Report on the implementation, results and overall assessment of the EY2012, adopted on 9th September 2015 and whose conclusions are fully in line with AGE’s views and recommendations on what the EU should do to help Europe address its demographic challenge.
While acknowledging that active ageing and solidarity between generations are key to achieving the Europe 2020 objectives for a competitive, prosperous and inclusive Europe, MEPs stress the need for a holistic approach of ageing, involving all decision-making levels (EU, national, regional and local levels), civil society and the private sector, and refers to the WHO global definition of active ageing, as promoted by AGE. They underline the importance of promoting age-friendly environments for a more inclusive society and acknowledge the benefit that a UN Convention on the rights of older persons would bring to improve the lives of older persons.
The report points out some positive outcome of the Year in terms of mobilization and good practice exchange, but also highlights shortcomings and areas where further action is needed.
In particular, the European Parliament asks:
- EU member states to help unblock the equal treatment directive proposed in 2008 by the European Commission, for which AGE has been actively campaigning together with other European NGOs;
- the forthcoming Presidencies of the Council of the EU to put demographic issues back on the EU agenda and work out strong policy responses;
- the Commission to adopt an EU Strategy on Demographic Change to coordinate EU action in various areas and ensure synergies;
- the Commission to adopt an Action Plan on elder abuse, taking stock of the European Quality Framework for Long-Term Care developed by the WeDO Partnership and addressing the issue of the rights of older persons in need of care and assistance.
- the Commission to identify areas for funding for EU Covenant on Demographic Change which will be launched in December 2015 with the support of the AFE-INOVNET thematic network coordinated of AGE. The Covenant is welcomed by MEPs as a major outcome of EY 2012 and of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing;
- the Commission, the Council and the Member States to adopt a positive position within the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing to ensure that older citizens can fully enjoy their human rights; and invites the Commission to closely cooperate with the UN Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons and with older people’s representative organisations in the EU;
- the Commission to address age inequalities faced by older people in the implementation of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to ensure that the UNCRPD does not leave older people behind.
This report follows the adoption by the European Parliament of recent report of relevance to older people’s rights: the EP Report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU which calls on the European Union and Member States to step up their efforts to combat discrimination on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation and to protect diversity in the European Union.
Recognizing the negative impact of the economic crisis and the budgetary restrictions on economic, civil, social and cultural rights, MEPS calls, in this report, for the setting up of a scoreboard using common and objective indicators to measure and monitor the compliance of all EU Member States with regard to fundamental rights. The document also includes a specific section on age-discrimination.
More information on those two reports and their relevance to older persons can be found in the Parliamentary Watch section of AGE blog: https://towardsanagefriendlyep.com/