Issue 8 December 2012
>> In The Spotlight
The European Commission celebrates the closing ceremony of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations
The European Commission’s closing event of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 was held on December 10th in Nicosia, organised by the Cyprus EU Presidency. The event brought together high level EU and national policy makers, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to celebrate the achievements of these months and to announce follow-up activities to ensure a lasting impact of the Year.
In his opening address László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said that the European Year has been an important milestone in the efforts to support the development of active ageing policies and initiatives. He also admitted to be “impressed by the commitment and innovative ideas shown by hundreds of organisations, companies and individuals across Europe who have increased older people's opportunities to keep working and participate in the economy and society”. “It makes me confident that we can succeed in tackling the challenges of population ageing. I encourage you to keep up your efforts after the European Year is over", said Mr. Andor.
Click here to see a video of the panel debate “Building on the achievements of the European Year 2012: What has been achieved and what is the way forward?”, with the participation of Kathleen Lynch, Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People of Ireland, and Sotiroula Charalambous, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance of Cyprus.
The Council of the European Union adopts the Guiding Principles for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations
The Council of the European Union adopted on 6th December the Guiding Principles for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, which should serve as a checklist for national authorities and other stakeholders on what needs to be done to promote active ageing beyond the European Year 2012. Each of the 19 Guiding Principles, jointly agreed by the Social Protection and the Employment Committees, relate to one of the three dimensions of active ageing promoted during the European Year: employment, social participation and independent living.
The Gudining Principles, which are annexed to the Council declaration on the European Year 2012 (17468/12), are not prescriptive. It is a task of national governments, regions, cities, companies, trade unions, civil society organisations and others to make use of them according to their specific situation and challenges. “The legacy of the European Year 2012 needs to be preserved and further developed at European, national, regional and local level, along the lines outlined in the Guiding Principles for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations”, recommends the Council.
Active Ageing Index 2012 launched at the European Year closing conference
Sweden, Finland and Denmark, followed by the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom, come at the top of the Active Ageing Index 2012, presented on 10th December in Cyprus at the Closing Conference of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The index also shows that a majority of the Central and Eastern European countries as well as Malta and Greece have lots of space for improvement when it comes to their active ageing policies.
Developed by the European Centre Vienna, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Committee for Europe (UNECE) and the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, the Active Ageing Index (AAI) is a newly developed tool that offers national and European policy makers a way to measure the untapped potential of the older population.
New Eurobarometer shows that the majority of Europeans believe that being over 55 is a disadvantage when applying for a job
The European Commission published on 22nd November 2012 a new Eurobarometer survey, which looks into attitudes and perceptions
of Europeans towards discrimination, based on different grounds (such as age, gender, religion, ethnicity or disability).
The age-related results of this Eurobarometer highlight that the economic crisis is contributing to an increase of perceived discrimination in the labour market, especially for older persons - more than two-third of Europeans (67%) believe the economic crisis is contributing to more discrimination against “older” workers (those aged over 55).
The European Commission announces the winners of the European Year 2012 generations@school competition
The European Commission invited schools to participate in a competition in order to discover the best generations@school projects. From March 1st to June 30th, participants (a class or a school) could upload images, drawings, testimonies and stories of their experience on the dedicated section of the project’s website. The most creative and innovative generations@school project from each Member State has been honoured with an award.
>> Be Inspired
ShineOn is a project implemented in Finland by two young German fashion designers, Celine David and Linn Annen, who have developed a collection of clothes and accessories in collaboration with elderly people. The results were presented in a fashion show on 29th September in Helsinki with the support of the Goethe Institute.
“Connect Latvia!” is a socially targeted project which is being conducted for the fourth consecutive year by Lattelecom, the largest electronic services provider in Latvia. The project teaches seniors basic computer and internet skills, such as switching on a PC, searching for information on the web, using e-mail and Skype.
“Ask the scientists” is a project launched in 2012 by the Centre for Senior Policy in Norway in cooperation with the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research. The aim of the initiative is to make the knowledge and experiences of the Fafo Institute researchers available to whoever has a question.
The EVAA project aims to give hundreds of adults aged 50+ a voice about active ageing in Europe by promoting forums to exchange views and discover new approaches to addressing key related issues.