The EU must build back better, for all… and with older people


Brussels, Belgium – 23 September 2020

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World Older Persons’ Day, 1st October 2020


Photo from Bennett Tobias on Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed how our lives are unequally exposed depending on the social, economic inequalities or environmental burden we experience during our lifetime. Engaging with older people – in their diversity – is critical to address the needs and aspirations of the older population today and tomorrow.

Unpreparedness of our policies, inadequacy of our living environments, lack of human resources and adapted infrastructure in the care sector… Past political choices have put many older people – especially those living in residential care settings, in need of care at home, or those experiencing poverty – in dangerous, if not deadly, situations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s situation is not irreversible.

National and EU policies must complement each other to render our social protection systems both more just and sustainable, and to protect our human rights across the life span. Only by tackling life-long inequalities will we be able to ensure dignity and wellbeing in old age.

We, AGE Platform Europe, call for coordinated national-EU policies on ageing that:

  • allow everyone to live dignified and healthy lives including in older age.
  • build on the capacity of all generations to participate as equal members of society.
  • protect and promotes equality and dignity at all stages of our lives.

These are the ambitions that we place in the coming EU Green Paper on Ageing and in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights: that policies accompany the life course with the objective to ensure age equality and better lives for today’s and future generations of older people.

“As older people, we are more than ever committed to contribute to the further development of a Europe in which everyone has the chance to grow up and grow old with dignity and in caring communities.”

Heidrun Mollenkopf, Vice-President of AGE

The upcoming international conference “Strengthening Older People’s Rights in Times of Digitalisation” on 28-29 September organised jointly by the German Presidency of the EU Council, AGE Platform Europe and our German member organisation BAGSO, is a tangible example of dialogue between civil society, older people and policy makers.

A few days before the International Day of Older People (1st October), this joint event is a strong signal that addressing ageing can be done with older people!

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For more information, please contact:

Estelle Huchet, Campaign Officer:

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