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News > Active ageing to be central theme in 2012
31/05/11
On the third European Day of Solidarity between Generations (29 April), the European Commission launched a website for the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing. This site presents the initiatives which will be undertaken by a range of stakeholders to promote the objectives of EY2012, including active ageing in the workplace, in the wider community (both in volunteer service and in care) and within the family.

During a conference held in Brussels to mark the European Day on Solidarity between Generations, the Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, László Andor, said: "From the employment perspective, the most important issue is that the active European workforce will start shrinking already next year. […] And this will continue for at least the next 25 years. This is why it is so critical to prevent older workers from getting squeezed out of the labour market. Likewise, it has to be guaranteed that those who are already retired can continue to participate in society, while remaining autonomous and healthy”.

The European Year for Active Ageing aims to provide a framework for awareness-raising, as well as identifying and sharing best practice. It is hoped that the initiative will encourage the promotion of active ageing by decision makers and stakeholders at all levels. EY2012 is part of the framework of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations action plan on ageing, and will include a wide range of initiatives in this area. However, the Commission's proposal (2) to establish EY2012 must still be formally endorsed by the Council when it meets on 6 June, and by the European Parliament, on 22 June.

Meanwhile, according to Anne-Sophie Parent, director of AGE Platform Europe, there is no doubt about the commitment of stakeholders: “The conference, on 29 April, brought together extremely diverse participants, showing that this campaign is no longer solely fought by NGOs. EY2012 has involved industry, it has enlisted the cooperation of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation, and the future Presidencies of the EU and the Commission have also shown a strong interest”.

The Commission's new website lists commitments that have already been formulated. Examples include a troupe of singers of all different generations, which can now perform across the entire Czech Republic, and in Germany, representatives of employers within the chemical industry have committed to providing their employees with advice on flexible hours and special working conditions.

View the new website here

Read the original article from Europolotics here

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