European Year 2012

EY2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

The evaluation report of the European Year 2012 (released in September 2014) can be downloaded on the website of the European Commission.

The final Implementation Assessment Report of the EU Year 2012 can be downloaded on this page

This page is dedicated to the campaign that AGE coordinated to get a European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations in 2012 (EY2012), an important achievement for the promotion of an Age-Friendly European Union.

We hope this section will help you better understand the importance and the objectives of the Year, the meaning of active ageing, and how we contributed to the initiative. For more information, please contact Alice Sinigaglia,



View the official video on EY2012 achievements!

Find out the activities of AGE and the EY2012 Coalition to mark the Year

The rationale of AGE campaign

Our entire society is going to have to adapt itself to the needs of its ageing population, but it will also have to tackle the new challenges faced by other age groups so that all generations will be able to continue supporting each other and living together peacefully. This means that we will have to collectively review our policies and practices in regards to town planning, rural development, public transport, access to health care, family policy, education and training, social protection, employment, civic participation, leisure, etc.

Demographic change should be looked at as an opportunity, which can bring innovative solutions to many current economic and social challenges, but this will require a new assessment and reworking of several economic and social policies within society.

Empowering older people to age in good health and to contribute more actively to the labour market and to their communities will help us cope with our demographic challenge in a way that is fair and sustainable for all generations. Involving young people at early stages is necessary to get mutual inspiration and to raise awareness of the interdependence of the generations, e.g. in terms of pension systems.

A European Year on Active Ageing and Solicarity between Generations can offer the opportunity to mobilize all actors and resources to find innovative solutions to address the demographic challenge and create and promote active ageing.

What does Active Ageing mean?

Active Ageing is defined by the World Health Organization as the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. It allows people to realise their potential for wellbeing throughout their lives and to participate in society according to their needs, desires and capabilities, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need assistance.

It implies optimising opportunities for physical, social and mental health to enable older people to take an active part in society without discrimination and to enjoy an independent and good quality of life. On the other hand, creating an intergenerational society needs awareness of each and everyone about what she or he can do for the society of all ages, urgent adaptations of family policies and innovative solutions for new working careers which are life-cycle based.

Why a European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity in 2012?

2012 was the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Action Plan on Ageing. In response to the demographic challenge all EU member states are facing the EY2012 seeked to:

  • Promote active ageing in employment
  • Promote active ageing in the community through volunteering and caring
  • Promote healthy ageing and independent living
  • Enhance solidarity between generations in order to create a society for all ages

Why was the European Year important?

The European Year served as a framework for:

  • raising awareness on the contribution that older people make to society and the important part that young people play for a holistic society;
  • identifying and disseminating good practice;
  • mobilising policymakers and relevant stakeholders at all levels to promote active ageing;
  • calling for greater cooperation and solidarity between generations.

A wide range of stakeholders: national, regional and local authorities, employers and trade unions, the business sector, civil society organisations, researchers, etc. should use this opportunity to propose action to support active ageing in the field of: employment, social protection, family policies, education and training, health and social services, as well as housing, transport, leisure, and public infrastructures.

All together they helped bring the necessary changes to achieve a society for all ages and to find innovative solutions that are sustainable and fair for all generations.

How did citizens and relevant stakeholders contribute?

  • They helped us spread the information!

- By adding the reference to the European Year 2012 to your website (click here for the official logo of the EY2012 in all EU languages)

- By adding the reference to the European Year 2012 to your publications

- By translating our message in your own language

- By promoting our Campaign by inserting a reference in your e-mail signature

- By giving regular updates about the campaign through your individual and/or organisation’s communication channels (newsletters, Facebook, Twitter..)

  • They committed to promoting active ageing!

- By integrating the EY 2012 objectives in their work programmes

- By advertising their commitments/ initiatives on the EY 2012 website.

  • They joined our campaign

- By sending an e-mail to Alice Sinigaglia, Campaign Officer,

- By asking for campaign materials and organising local, regional or national event/debate on active ageing and solidarity between generations.

- By setting up meetings with local, regional and national politicians, decision makers or other stakeholders (researchers, employers, trade unions, NGOs) and encouraging them to launch initiatives to support active ageing.

- By using the European Day of Solidarity between Generations (29 April) as a good opportunity to stress the link between promoting active ageing and encouraging intergenerational solidarity.

Main campaign documents

More information

In order to see the list of stakeholders that are involved in the Campaign, please click here.

For more information on the EY2012 Coalition, please contact Alice Sinigaglia at

or consult our publications here.

To read more on AGE's activities around the EU Year, please read the May 2011 Special Briefing and the July-Aug Special Briefing of AGE's monthly newsletter, CoverAGE.

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