Issue 5 September 2012
>> In The Spotlight
Europe Celebrates the Seniorforce Day
In the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, public authorities and NGOs are invited to celebrate the Seniorforce Day on or around October 1st, the International Day of Older Persons, as a way to engage and harness the power of senior volunteers. The idea behind this initiative of the European Commission is to mobilise people 60+ who have plenty to offer their families and communities and to find ways to utilise the potential of this formidable force.
The European Seniorforce Day events will be celebrated across all Member States. Finland, Slovakia and Bulgaria are the first countries where these action days have been organised. Please check out the Events calendar in the European Year 2012 website to find out the specific details of these and other Seniorforce Day events in all EU countries.
More than 1,350 nominations received for the European Year 2012 Awards
A total of 1,373 interesting and diverse submissions have been received from all over Europe to participate in the European Year 2012 Awards. Launched by the European Commission to celebrate the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, the call was
closed on 16 September .
Organisations and individuals from EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway were able to submit from 21 June until 16 September nominations in six categories: Workplaces for all Ages, Towards Age-Friendly Environments, Social Entrepreneurs, Reporting on Ageing and Relations between Generations, Life Story Challenge and generations@school.
Germany has submitted the largest number of entries (172), followed by Spain (122), Portugal (110), Austria(93),Poland and Romania, with 92 nominations each.
The winners of the 2012 Active Ageing Awards will be announced at a ceremony which will take place in November in Brussels .
October 1 - the International Day of Older Persons
The United Nations' International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually since 1991 on October 1st to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.
The theme of the day in 2012 is "Longevity: Shaping the Future" and special events will be organised worldwide. Across Europe, citizens are invited to participate in many initiatives, such as the Senior Fest in the Czech Republic, the Flowers of Fraternity in France or the Big Skills Share in the United Kingdom.
Visit this page for more information and highlights of the Day.
UNECE Ministerial Conference in Vienna concludes with commitment to meet the individual and societal challenges triggered by population ageing
The UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Ministerial Conference on Ageing held on 18-20 September 2012 in Vienna, Austria, concluded with the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration “Ensuring a society for all ages: promoting quality of life and active ageing”.
The conference gathered over 500 participants, including ministers and high-level officials, NGO representatives and scientists. László Andor,
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, delivered a key note speech in which he presented the European Year 2012
and outlined how the European Union is promoting active ageing through its policies.
Looking at the challenges ahead, ministers and country delegations declared their determination to reach four priority policy goals by 2017, namely: encouraging longer working lives; promoting participation, non-discrimination and social inclusion of older persons; promoting and safeguarding dignity, health and independence in older age and maintaining and enhancing intergenerational solidarity.
The “Synthesis report on the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing in the UNECE region” was also presented
at the UNECE Ministerial Conference in Vienna.
Participate in the online poll at the European Year website!
We invite you to participate in the online poll published at the European Year 2012 website. In this occasion, the EC wants to know what European citizens think about the following statement:
“There are enough opportunities for older people to get involved in associations and local community initiatives”.
Do you agree or disagree with it? Vote here.
>> Country Highlights
Poland approves the Government Programme for Senior Citizens Social Activity 2012-13
The Council of Ministers of Poland approved on August 24th the “Government Programme for Senior Citizens Social Activity” for the years
2012-2013. The aim of this comprehensive programme, effective from September 12th, is to improve the quality of life of older people through social activity and allow Polish society to benefit from the vocational potential of the elderly.
Croatia launches quest to find Top Seniors, as part of the European Year 2012
Marking the European Year 2012, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Croatia and the Ministry of Social Welfare Policy and Youth of the Republic of Croatia have organised the competition “Young at Heart – the Award of the European Year for Active Ageing”.
Honorary plaques will be presented to the winners at a ceremony taking place on the International Day of Older Persons.
>> Active Agers
From 0 to 100 years in 150 seconds
On October 2011 young Dutch filmmaker Jeroen Wolf started documenting people in the city of Amsterdam, approaching them in the street and asking them to say their age in front of the camera. Some 4 months after he recorded his first “age”, Wolf was able to conclude the project, just in time to celebrate the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.
The result is the short film “100 - from 0 to 100 years in 150 seconds”. Click here to see it online.
European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA) standards for exercise professionals working with active ageing
The European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA) has developed the new “EHFA Standards EQF Level 4 Active Ageing Trainer”. Launched at its General Assembly held in Brussels on 24 May 2012, these are a set of new and specific standards for exercise professionals working with active agers. A qualified group of technical experts across Europe contributed to develop these new standards, aimed to meet the needs of healthy older adults.
>> Be Inspired
The Citizen Storyteller project was set up by a group of seven young Portuguese filmmakers in the context of the European Year 2012. The initiative consists in collecting the life stories of older people who are determined to keep active, no matter the grief or the loneliness they may have experienced, and who have sought alternative activities which bring them joy in life and keep them active and healthy.
The French association “Lire et faire lire” (Read and have others read) launched an imitative in October 2005 called “Sacs de Pages” (Bags of pages) in which volunteers over 50 years old are invited to read to children and encourage them to do it by themselves. In 2012, in the context of the European Year, a selection of books on intergenerational solidarity were donated to the children. An accompanying booklet of pedagogical contributions, suggestions for games and activities related to the proposed theme completes the initiative.
Together with the Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN), the partners of the Groningen Agreement are organising a Healthy Ageing Campaign in 2012 called “GA! Groningen” (Healthy & Active Groningen). It involves numerous activities in the field of healthy nutrition, healthy lifestyle, exercise & sports, and is meant to introduce as many Groningen citizens to the Healthy Ageing theme as possible.
The writing team of the popular German television show "Verbotene Liebe" (Forbidden Love), produced by GrundyUFA, has teamed-up with the German Ministry of Health to put the focus on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia throughout 2012.
The +Active Ageing project has been designed to promote the planning and joint use of facilities, innovative programmes and social services at cross-border level between the regions of Galicia (Spain) and the North of Portugal for the early detection of future dependency needs and the promotion of active and healthy ageing.