Bridging European and global action to address Europe’s demographic change

AGE Platform Europe joins the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities as institutional affiliate

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Brussels, 3 February 2015

Today, the Word Health Organization (WHO) and WHO-Europe have signed an agreement with AGE Platform Europe, the EU largest network of organisations of and for older persons, making AGE an institutional affiliate of the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Through this agreement, WHO acknowledges that AGE has been a strong supporter and promoter of the WHO Global Network and stresses that they are very pleased to continue and strengthen this close collaboration. AGE will now continue to promote WHO holistic approach to active and healthy ageing in Europe and pave the way to the future EU Covenant on demographic change, to be launched end of 2015.

A growing number of cities and regions in Europe are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents. The WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities was established in 2010 to foster the exchange of experiences and best practices between cities worldwide. As WHO stated, “an age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age.”

Since 2008, AGE has been closely working with WHO to promote at the European level a holistic approach to active and healthy ageing, which covers all areas of life such as the built environment, outdoor spaces, transport, social and civic participation, employment, access to health and community services, etc. This cooperation gained momentum during the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations as well as in the framework of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. It was then followed-up by the successful launch of AFE-INNOVNET Thematic Network on innovation for age-friendly environments, which gathers today around 220 stakeholders, including almost 60 cities and regions, committed to making the European Union the best place to age in good health and keep active.

AGE is therefore extremely happy to sign such agreement with WHO. This recognises AGE work and offers us a sustainable, well-established framework to further build synergies at all levels of governance as well as to make concrete steps towards the launch of an EU Covenant on Demographic Change by end 2015. Such Covenant will become the long-term political and technical structure, gathering all interested stakeholders willing to support longer and healthier lives through the WHO approach on age-friendly environments.

“We very much look forward to the upcoming months and invite all public authorities, businesses, universities, civil society organisations, active in the field of ageing to already join the AFE-INNOVNET Network and get ready to join the European Covenant on Demographic Change as soon as it is launched on 8 December 2015” concluded Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE Platform Europe.

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