On the European Day of Solidarity between Generations on 29th April 2014, the AFE-INNOVNET project held its first webinar on age-friendly solutions to respond to the rapid demographic change in Europe. This online seminar aimed to present the project to interested stakeholders and encourage new stakeholders to join.
AGE also seized the momentum of the Day to issue a press release on MEP candidates’ joint commitment to foster intergenerational solidarity and cooperation and support AGE EP Manifesto recommendations.
AFE-INNOVNET webinar ‘A Solution to Demographic Change’
Three speakers were invited to the AFE-INNOVNET webinar in order to present the project and the thematic network to the 40 attending participants:
- Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE Platform Europe, made a general presentation of the project, focusing on the aim of the project and the ways to achieve it.
- The second speaker, Nhu Tram, Project Officer of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), focused on the mobilisation of local and regional authorities and other stakeholders: how to join the network, what are the benefits of joining, and what it entails in terms of commitment. The presentation was based on questions that have been frequently asked by interested stakeholders since the project was launched in February 2014.
- The third speaker, Joan Martin, Responsible for the Louth Age-friendly portfolio, introduced the various initiatives implemented in Louth County and their support to active and healthy ageing.
The date of the EU Day was chosen to stress the ‘all age and life-cycle’ dimension of age-friendly environments. Population ageing is indeed impacting the society as a whole and offers us the opportunity to develop innovative solutions that will involve and benefit people of all generations and age-groups.
Creating age-friendly environments means reorganizing completely the way our society function and services are provided to better adapt to the rapid ageing of the EU population, in providing the necessary environments for older people to take part in society, live independently. This would improve older people’s well-being, while at the same time contribute to the sustainability of our healthcare systems and help reducing public expenses in that field.
Current demographic projections forecast rapid increase of average life expectancy in the near future – 86 years old for women and 81 for men in 2050. However those figures do not refer to healthy life expectancy, which is currently around 62 for men and women. It is therefore urgent to foster ageing in good health through appropriate and coordinated action to promote longer healthier lives. This is the purpose of the AFE-INNOVNET thematic network on age-friendly environments, a project funded by under the EU ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP), which brings together a large EU-wide community of regional and local authorities and other stakeholders, e.g. industry, research centres, NGOs, civil society, etc… The project will seek to support all interested parties in developing methodologies to assess the socio-economic impact of their initiatives, support a participatory approach, promote the exchange of good practice and experience and launch an EU Covenant on Demographic Change To ensure long-term impact.
A recording of this webinar is available on Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s-FG0rDQ5s&feature=youtu.be. The PPTs and the recording will soon be uploaded on AFE-INNOVNET website.
For more information on the AFE-INNOVNET network, please contact Julia Wadoux, AFE-INNOVNET Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
AGE and MEPs joint call for an ‘all age’-friendly European Parliament
To mark the EU Day of solidarity between generations, AGE issued a common press release together with some candidate MEPs from major European political parties who support AGE Manifesto and have agreed to commit to promoting intergenerational solidarity and cooperation during the next mandate of the European Parliament.
Key challenges have been highlighted, which are also mentioned in AGE Manifesto for the European elections 2014:
- the realisation of human rights for all
- the adequacy, fairness and sustainability of Europe’s social and health protection systems
- the universal access to goods and services
- the right to grow and age in good mental and physical health
- the creation of age-friendly labour markets and economy
- the involvement of older persons in all policy and research processes that concern them
- the right for all to live and die in dignity
AGE also invited all candidate MEPs to support the re-establishment of the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and to keep these issues high on the European Parliament’s agenda if they are elected.
AGE members’ intergenerational initiatives
A number of activities to promote greater solidarity between generations are regularly organized across Europe by AGE member organisations. Some of the initiatives to celebrate the European Day can be viewed on AGE website.