INCLUSage Debating older people’s needs

AGE member organisations from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland and Slovakia implmented during 2008-2010 a social inclusion project, INCLUSage – Debating Older People’s Need. The project sought to promote participatory debates at local and national level on the multiple aspects of poverty and social exclusion among older people. INCLUSage long-term goal was to set up in each partner country a durable consultation process/framework including older people’s organizations, policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders at all levels.


Guide for Civil Dialogue

The final stage of the project was focused on the development of a ‘Guide for Civil Dialogue on Promoting Older People’s Social Inclusion’. The Guide presents national examples of good practice of civil dialogue on ageing issues, including also those that promote social inclusion in old age. The Guide also makes some proposals on how best to implement and participate in the civil dialogue process across all national policy-making levels: from governmental level down through to regional and local level strategies and initiatives which aim to improve the daily lives of older people. We hope that the Guide (see below eight linguistic versions of the Guide) will be used by both older people’s organisations and public authorities at all levels in order to facilitate a broad dialogue between relevant stakeholders.

Closing Conference

To mark the end of the INCLUSage project, AGE held on 7 December 2010 a seminar on “Promoting Adequate Income and Dignity in Old Age through Civil Dialogue”. The seminar got an active support from the Committee of Regions and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity. The focus of the seminar was twofold:  regarding social policy, to debate instruments guaranteeing an adequate old-age income; while regarding governance aspects, to promote a broad civil dialogue involving stakeholders from all levels in order to combat poverty and social exclusion in old age. Older persons coming from the seven partner countries attended and actively contributed along the seminar, by bringing their testimonials of what it means to live on a minimum income. They also addressed to the invited representatives of the Commission, the European Parliament and the Belgian Presidency some concrete requests on how to ensure an adequate old-age income. Older participants insisted in particular on the fact that an adequate income must address not only monetary aspects, but should also guarantee universal access to essential services, such as quality health and long-term care, education and long-life learning or decent housing, and will allow older people’s social integration through leisure, social activities, civic participation etc. To do so, member states should promote an evidence-based approach to define what an adequate income should entail, such as the so-called basket of goods and services adapted to older people, concluded participants.


Now the INCLUSage project over, AGE members will be disseminating the Guide for Civil Dialogue to targeted stakeholders and will continue to enhance national debates on promoting and ensuring well-being and dignity in old age.

INCLUSage project confirmed that many policy-makers and civil servants do not often want to admit civil society into these debates or do not know how to actively support such organisations to take part in the policy-making process. However, after two years of the project, we see that these mentalities and attitudes are evolving and eventually new informal initiatives and legal frameworks are set up in different Member States to promote an active civil dialogue. Therefore, AGE would like to mobilise its members to promote broad civil dialogue as part of the participative democracy beyond the life span of the project.

For more information regarding the present Guide and the INCLUSage project please contact:

Please find below the final ‘Guide for Civil Dialogue on Promoting Older People’s Social Inclusio’:









INCLUSage project was supported for under the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (2007-2013). This programme is managed by the Directorate-General for Employment, social affairs and equal opportunities of the European Commission. It was established to financially support the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in the employment and social affairs area, as set out in the Social Agenda, and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy goals in these fields.

The seven-year Programme targets all stakeholders who can help shape the development of appropriate and effective employment and social legislation and policies, across the EU-27, EFTA-EEA and EU candidate and pre-candidate countries.

PROGRESS mission is to strengthen the EU contribution in support of Member States’ commitments and efforts to create more and better jobs and to build a more cohesive society. To that effect, PROGRESS will be instrumental in:

– providing analysis and policy advice on PROGRESS policy areas;
– monitoring and reporting on the implementation of EU legislation and policies in PROGRESS policy areas;
– promoting policy transfer, learning and support among Member States on EU objectives and priorities; and
– relaying the views of the stakeholders and society at large

For more information see:

The information contained in the INCLUSage materials does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.

  • Information regarding INCLUSage implmentation by individual partners

 For more information regarding the specific partners’ work programmes and the l atest news from the project implementation at national level, please see the following sections:

Bulgaria National Partners: Hospice Miloserdie Charitable Organisation; Tulip Foundation

To learn about project implementation in Bulgaria, please see the website of partner organisation, Tulip Foundation, where regular information about work in progress is posted.
Contact person: Maria Petkova,

Czech Republic National Partner: Zivot 90

Zivot created a special senior´s portal, where some articles on INCLUSage project are available:………

Special pages on INCLUSage are also soon available on the web site of our partner.

Contact person: Oldrich Stanek,

Finland National Partner: Association of Swedish-Speaking Pensioners

Please see two presentations and a background note presented at the INCLUSAge First Awareness Day held on 11 May in Finland, respectively on:

Volunteer Work and the Social Exclusion of the Elderly

The Open Method of Coordination
Equality in Finland – a consumer’s view

Contact person: Mona Lehtonen,

National Partners: BAGSO and Landesvereinigung für Gesundheit Niedersachsen

Contact persons: Elke Tippelmann, BAGSO, and Antje Richter – Landesvereinigung für Gesundheit Niedersachsen,

Italy National Partner: Ancescao

More info (IT)

Conferenza finale del progetto
Contact person: Elio D’Orazio,

Poland National Partners: Forum 50+ and Fundacja Ja Kobieta

This presentation was made by Senator Mieczyslaw Augustyn at the 8th Round Table on Poverty and Social Exclusion (available in French only)

Contact persons: Halina Potocka – Forum 50+,, and Hanna Nowakowska – Fundacja Ja Kobieta,

Slovak Republic National Partner: Forum Pre pomoc Starsim
Contact person: Lubica Galisova,

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