A recent joint declaration by the three countries holding the successive Presidency of the EU – the so-called Trio Presidency – is giving impulses to the promotion of people’s autonomy and participation in later life. The ‘Trio Declaration on Active Ageing’ calls for a joint approach in EU ageing policies that should:
- be rights-based
- integrate a life-course perspective
- be cross-sectorial
- value older people’s contribution
The statement also outlines measures that have been or will be implemented as part of the mandate of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia’s presidencies:
Under the German EU Presidency, the Council Conclusions “Human rights, participation and well-being of older people in the age of digitalisation” were adopted at the end of 2020. The conclusions focused on the concerns of older people for the first time in ten years.
The international online conference “Strengthening the Rights of Older People in Times of Digitalisation – Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic” discussed the opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation. Organised by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs together with AGE Platform Europe and the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations, BAGSO, the conference was attended by 1500 people from over 60 countries.
Read also our press release: Older people’s organisations welcome the human rights shift taken by EU Council in recent conclusions
The Portuguese Council Presidency started on 1 January 2021. One of its priorities will be to promote the principle of mainstreaming ageing. The Portuguese presidency intends to adopt Council Conclusions about the mainstreaming of ageing in all relevant public policies for active and healthy ageing as a way to increase efficiency and comprehensiveness of policy making on ageing.
Slovenia, which will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU from 1 July 2021, wants to integrate the life course perspective in all policies. If we want life expectancy to continue to increase and take full advantage of older people’s participation in society, we have to consider the whole process from birth to death. Only so will intergenerational solidarity continue to be a defining feature of Europe.
AGE warmly welcomes the commitments from the three presidencies
The trio declaration builds on the outcomes of the German presidency and its focus on the rights of older people in the era of digitalization. The announced presidencies’ programmes by Portugal and Slovenia are important steps towards a more inclusive and holistic approach of ageing. They are of particular importance at the moment when the EU and member states will implement the European Pillar of social rights, containing several principles in relation to older people and their dignity such as access to quality long-term care and adequacy of pensions and old-age income. The willingness to propose a comprehensive approach to demographic ageing based on a life cycle approach will be also crucial for the follow up to the Green Paper on Ageing.
The declaration of the current Trio Presidency is fully in line with the recent recommendations we made as a contribution to the upcoming EU Green Paper on Ageing.