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EU action

Solidarity between generations at the work place - copyright European Union - JPH Woodland

Policy context

The 2008 Communication "Non-discrimination and equal opportunities: A renewed commitment" establishes a framework for the Commission to carry out different activities aiming to fight against discrimination on different grounds, including age.


Recent publications focused on age:

More reports focused on discrimination based on age have been published by AGE Platform Europe and the European Network of Equality Bodies (EQUINET).

Data collection

The most recent Eurobarometer survey, carried out in the EU Member States, Discrimination in the EU in 2012, revealed that:

  • 45% of Europeans believe age discrimination is widespread.
  • 67% believe the economic crisis is contributing to more discrimination against workers aged over 55.
  • 54% believe that a job applicant’s age is a disadvantage if they are over 55.

Raising awareness

Fair treatment is a basic right in the EU. In principle, it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of a person's age. Yet EU citizens are not fully aware that they are legally protected against discrimination. Since 2003, the EU has been supporting an information campaign "For diversity. Against discrimination" across Europe, to make more people aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Posters on all discrimination grounds, including age, produced during the 2012 advertising campaign, can be ordered from the EU-bookshop.

2012 - European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

The year is intended to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society. It seeks to encourage policymakers and relevant stakeholders at all levels to take action with the aim of creating better opportunities for active ageing and strengthening solidarity between generations.